Striking is not condoned
It is unacceptable to try and justify strikes, sabotage, arson, destruction of property, riots and violence by an appeal to Christ’s role as a liberator. To truly follow the example of Christ would involve a far deeper revolution of love – that of regeneration. Revolutions destroy society and kill people.
Jesus changes attitudes and gives new life to individuals. What we need in South Africa is not a theology of revolution, inciting violence – what we need is a Theology of peace – found only in Jesus Christ.
How should people respond?
“Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God. Therefore whoever resists the authority, resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgement on themselves…Therefore you must be subject, not only because of wrath but also for conscience’ sake.” Rom 13:1-5
What should people do if they have been treated unfairly?
”So I sought for a man among them who would make a wall and stand in the gap before Me on behalf of the land so that I should not destroy it…” Ez 22:30.
The Lord Jesus taught that we should always pray and never give up. In the parable of the persistent widow, He taught that even an unjust judge will do what is right in response to persistent prayer and pressure. (Luke 18:1-5). God hears our prayers. Public officials respond to pressure. Most politicians do not tend to see the light, until they feel the heat! We are either praying, or we have given up. If we have given up it is probably because we neglected to pray.
We need to be informed, involved, and interceding. Prayer is our foun-
dation for action. “You are the salt of the earth…you are the light of the world…let your light shine before men that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in Heaven.” Matt 5:13-16.
Violent revolution is clearly forbidden. “Remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities, to obey, to be ready for every good work.” Titus 3:1
Christian protest has a place
“Who will rise up for Me against the wicked? Who will take a stand for Me against evildoers?” Ps 94:16. Some people watch things happen. Some make things happen. Others don’t have a clue what happened!
As ambassadors of Christ, we are to be salt and light in society – salt bringing preser-vation (of morals) and light bringing the hope and truth of the Lord Jesus Christ thus dispelling darkness and evil.
“…To him who knows to do good and does not do it…it is sin.” James 4:17.
Stand up for Christian
liberties but remember to do so prayerfully in wisdom, humility and order
Only if the state forbids obedience to God may we say with the Apostles: “We ought to obey God rather than men.” Acts 5:29. When the state forbids prayer to God (Dan 6:6-13), forbids evangelism (Acts 5:40-42), or commands us to worship false gods (Dan 3:12-18), then we must say: “Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you more than to God, you judge.” Acts 4:19.
So then, with the exception of matters of worship and evangelism, Christians are commanded to: “…Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake, whether to the king as supreme, or to governors, as to those who are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers and for the praise of those who do good.” 1 Pet 2:13-14.
By: Peter Hammond