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Assuming a peaceful and respectful approach to voicing opposition to proposed government mandates or legislation that would make various segments of society (including Christianity) subject to imprisonment and severe penalties for simply meeting, maintaining a deeply held view or practises that would contravene new laws.

If there is a biblical record for opposing or resisting government-

  1. What is the precedent?
  2. Does it apply today?
  3. What form does it take?

2 Answers 2

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To take a honest look at the Bible’s approach to government we have a few obvious high level principles that outline an approach to the political .

In the Old Testament God directly ruled an often disobedient Monarchies, not becauseGod wanted to have monarchies but initially because the people wanted a King. In any case that was the kind of government’s people had at the time and a King was thought needed to defend against other Kings and peoples.

In The New Testament God no longer directly rules a government but Jesus clearly divided his spiritual kingdom from the political kingdom and sidestepped political traps about taxes and rebellion when questioned by zealots and officials alike.

When the Apostles were then spreading the gospel they wrote nothing about politics as their mind we’re dealing with subjects much higher than worldly affairs, maintaining Christ’s example and keeping Christ as the only centre in all thinking and discussion. Part of this discussion includes full submission to all authorities, whether good or evil.

Indirectly however there are obvious breaks with both the Old Testament believers and New Testament believers who are forced to break the law and protest against laws that are under God unlawful. A couple examples are Daniel in the Lions den and the churches command to preach the gospel to all nations. Of course if a nation outlawed preaching the gospel, then that law would be broken because it is unlawful to a higher law.

So if suppressing free speech includes suppressing Biblical doctrines from being preached, free speech must be maintained against the law of that society, even if that leads to imprisonment.

However apart from these isolated diversions from the otherwise general command to submit to all authorities, it seems the Bible leaves political subjects to the world and not the church. It also is obvious we are part of the world, so as a citizen (not as a Christian) we may hold any political view we like and if legal in the country, protest or not based on our own freedom and will, so long as we are not being rude and offensive to our neighbors who we claim to love. These is the other obligation, loving our neighbors.

We should also have some gratitude for civil secular worldly laws no matter how corrupt they are because it is Gods law in general that they serve to punish murderers and thieves. If it was not for the Old Testament still maintaining a shape within secular powers as provided by God, we would certainly all be robbed and killed by our dear neighbors among us. The law restrains human nature in its practical outcomes while increasing the evil desires among those trapped under it. Only in Christ is one freed from the law and the politics itself, as politics is basically neighbors hating each other as they express themselves.

Even so, getting into the mud of politics is in some ways necessary as citizens as we are all involved.

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  • 3
    Up-voted +1. Remarkably balanced, well informed and very sensible. Appreciated. Good advice all round. Thank you.
    – Nigel J
    Nov 17, 2021 at 8:22
  • 2
    Our citizenship (literally politics) is in heaven. +1 Nov 17, 2021 at 12:54
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A democratic government mandate is given by the people to the government it elects. They agree to the elected government taking the responsibility of ruling them, and they allow the elected members to debate and decide by majority voting how they will carry that mandate out, in all the nitty-gritty decisions that have to be made day by day. After an agreed term of office, the people can then cast fresh votes as to whether the existing government continues to decide on their behalf, or if another group shall do that.

Please note, however, that there is nothing biblical about democratic government. That system of rule was 'invented' by the pagan Greeks, but only certain men could vote and decide who should have the rule over the nation. No slaves and no women were allowed any say in such matters. We may have come a long way from that, but still there is nothing in the Bible about Christians protesting at what we today call our 'basic democratic rights.'

On the contrary, the New Testament is clear about Christians supporting rulers, paying taxes, being law-abiding etc as ably answered by Mike. Given my agreement with his answer, I will simply state my answers to your three questions to : If there is a biblical record for opposing or resisting government-

What is the precedent?
Does it apply today?
What form does it take?

1 The New Testament sets a radical precedent for Christians to support government in their task of ruling and being agents of punishment for wrong-doers. They are even to pray for governments, especially that they can proclaim the gospel.

2 This still applies today.

3 The form is the same today as it was in the first century A.D. - The only time Christians are to resist government is when government tells them to break God's laws. They 'resist' by reasoning with government in the first instance, where that is possible, presenting a logical case for continuing to obey God's laws. If that doesn't change the situation, they continue doing whatever it is the government tries to stop them doing, even if that means going to prison, being fined, or even if they are put to death for it.

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    Up-voted +1. Agree wholly with the comments about democracy and its basis in Greek thought not NT concept.
    – Nigel J
    Nov 20, 2021 at 19:10
  • But the idea of every person (or citizen at least) having the right to vote, rather than just wealthy male landowners, likely does have roots in Biblical principles.
    – curiousdannii
    Jun 20, 2022 at 1:42

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