To Obey or Not to Obey that is the Question

To Obey or Not to Obey That is the Question

21st June 2020

This blog is a follow on to the one I published on the 14th of June. On that occasion I showed that, because of the restrictions imposed by the UK government, the kind of Church we now have is unbiblical. As I said on that occasion, the Word of God defines what the church is and how it should function. However, the government has stopped the Church from doing what the Lord has instructed us to do. So, the obvious question that arises from this situation is, should the Church obey the government of the Word of God?

In response to this question, many Christians will point to the instructions given by the Apostle Paul in Romans regarding submission to authorities. This is what Paul says:

Every person is to be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God. Therefore, whoever resists authority has opposed the ordinance of God; and they who have opposed will receive condemnation upon themselves.
Romans 13:1-2

If we take this text on its own it seems clear that we should always obey the government otherwise there will be consequences for us. However, what if the government goes against the will of God? We see all over the world that governing bodies don’t always act with the best interests of Christians. Some are positively hostile to Christians. We must not forget that we live in a fallen world and this affects the judgement of governments as much as anyone else.

Despite what the Apostle Paul tells in us Romans, the Apostles did not always obey the authorities. We see this in the Book of Acts:

When they had brought them, they stood them before the Council. The high priest questioned them, saying, “We gave you strict orders not to continue teaching in his name, and yet, you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching and intend to bring this man’s blood upon us.” But Peter and the apostles answered, “We must obey God rather than men.”
Acts 5:27-29

On this occasion, the ruling religious authority in Jerusalem had told the Apostle to disobey God by not preaching the Gospel. The Apostle Peter’s response is clear. God is the ultimate authority and his commands must take precedence, especially when the government is going against God’s will.

So, while it’s true that Christians should submit to the ruling authorities of the land, there are instances where submitting to the higher authority, God, must take precedence. Defying the government in such circumstances is not easy and it can have serious consequences for Christians. Nevertheless, there are times when we must show our faith by obeying God rather than the government.

It is my opinion that the current restrictions imposed on the Church by the government is one such instance. As far as I can see, the government has no plans for the foreseeable future to allow the Church to function in accordance with the Word of God. Therefore, I believe that it is time for Christians in this country to obey God and not the government in respect of the function of the Church. This means that we should get back to doing everything we were doing and the way we were doing it before the lockdown, as long as what we were doing was in conformity with the Word of God. And face the consequences in doing so. Christians are meant to live by faith but it takes no faith to obey the anti-Christian rules of the government. But it does take faith to obey God rather than the government with all the powers at their disposal.

Having said that we should of course provide safeguards for those Christians who are vulnerable to the Coronavirus if they want them.