“Everyone must submit to governing authorities. For all authority comes from God, and those in positions of authority have been placed there by God. 2 So anyone who rebels against authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and they will be punished”
But what if the authorities are evil, bad, or wrong? What should we do? How do we determine which laws to follow and which laws to ignore? How does civil disobedience play into this?
Civil Disobedience is something that society accepts, and is used to prove and show unfairness in laws and rules. Martin Luther King Jr. and many civil rights activists in the 1960’s did that. They would disobey the police officers to show how unjust the institutionalized racism was, and when they were taken to jail, or whatever, they were legitimate martyrs, they knew what was happening and accepted the consequences.
What MLK and many in the real civil rights movement were going for was the biblical idea of equality of opportunity. I think they were justified in their disobedience, and my mom even joined in, my dad was in a small farm town on the upper west coast and the climate was totally different than in the south east. I believe the civil rights movement in the 1960’s was legitimate disobedience, and many of them paid the consequences of their disobedience.
For some reason, todays culture loves the idea of Civil Disobedience, but isn’t prepared to live with the consequences. The bible says that anyone who rebels against the authority God placed will be punished. While God may disagree with what the powers at be are doing, he does not approve of people rebelling against the powers he puts into place.
The book of Acts is full of accounts that happened to Paul and the variou other apostles that were punished for spreading the message of Jesus in a place where it is illegal.
If God won’t spare his people from punishment for doing what he commanded them to do
Why would he spare us for less?
So, I want to give you all an opportunity to check out a real life example of something I’d like your input on.
The dress code for my Seminary states that it is inappropriate for me to wear a t-shirt, shorts, or wear flipflops. The penalty could be my being out of the classroom unless I remedy the transgression, or not being allowed to stay in class for that session.
I regularly wear shorts and flip-flops. I wear shorts during the summer because I get hot really easily, and if I have to wear khaki’s or jeans, I’ll just spend the entire class sweating and worrying about how much I’m sweating and won’t be able to focus. If I get called out, I will inform them of that and hopefully be given grace, however, if they decide not to offer me grace I will adhere to the policy. In terms of flip-flops, I personally prefer to wear the to class, I can I keep a pair of shoes in my trunk.
I’m prepared for the punishment, and will readily accept it. I’m not really protesting the dress code… Am I wrong, or misguided.