Doesn't The Bible Say Not to Follow Authorities When They Condone What the Bible Condemns?

I've heard it somewhere. Like, i.e. abortion is good in civil law.

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I believe what you're looking for, in response to whether or not we should follow the 'law of the land' when it may contradict the Laws of God is found in James 4:17 "Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin"

Of course we are to (Mark 12:17) 'render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's'... but the rest of that verse also says '...and to God the things that are God's'...

And of course Romans 13:1-7 tells us that God ordains power to the rulers of the land such as governments, but it is very clear 'there is no power but of God' and of course it is implied that if anything is contrary to God's righteousness.. it isn't to be honored or practiced. This isn't always an easy concept in the culture and society we live in, but there again, we are expected to suffer persecution for our faith... if standing for the sanctity of the Word of God causes those governments or powers to try and hinder our service, no place in scripture do I see where we are to compromise, or even entertain the idea, but 'stand still and know that He is God'... as so many Godly men and women did before us.

If we don't stand on the principals of scripture as Psalm tells us 'If the foundations be destroyed what can the righteous do?" ... Stand! ;)

Another good passage that shows how to relate to authorities is Daniel and his three friends. They refused to obey the law of the land when it commanded them to stop praying, or when it commanded them to bow down to an idol, or when they had to choose between the norms of the culture around them and the Law of God

Daniel determined that he would not defile himself with the Kings Dainties (Dan. 1:8-9)

The three young colleagues of Daniel refused to bow down to the image of gold (Dan. 3:4-6; 3:15-18).

Many times the laws are designed with the direct intent to be a trap for those who love God (Dan. 6:5). That was the situation that got Daniel in trouble (Dan. 6:7). BUT "when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, . . . he prayed and gave thanks before his God just as he had done previously" (Dan. 6:10).

Another example is the response of Peter to the decrees that the disciples should no longer preach about the name of Jesus and the Resurrection (Acts 4:16-20). Their immediate and humble response was, we will not obey the decree. And then they prayed for guidance and for the help of God (Acts 4:23f). Next thing you know they are out preaching the truth with even more boldness!

So the disciples are arrested again (Acts 5:17-18), an angel comes by night and sets them at liberty (5:19-20) and again they go back to disobeying the decree of man (5:21-25). SO AGAIN they are arrested - very gently - and again they are told to stop preaching (5:26-28)

But the disciples give this simple answer:

But Peter and the apostles answered and said,

  • We must obey God rather than men.
The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom ye slew, hanging him on a tree. Him did God exalt with his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, to give repentance to Israel, and remission of sins. And we are witnesses of these things; and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God hath given to them that obey him. (Acts 5:29-32)

We should also not that this is not just a matter of a government condoning what the Bible condemns. Rather it is a matter in which the government requires direct disobedience to what the Bible clearly commands. Then we must obey God.

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