Dear Pastor:

        Is it lawful for Christians to speak out against government legislation that run afoul of biblical teachings, like the same-sex marriage legislation in Canada for example?

Dear Reader,

        If there is one thing that the Christian must always remember is that God has placed governments in this world to maintain law and order.  It is true that many governments are anything but godly; and it is true that many governments are abusive, dictatorial, and down right cruel.  However, the Christian must always remember that it is God that has placed government here for the preservation of law and order.  This, therefore, means that Christians must always seek to obey their governments. For example, here is what the Bible says, (Rom 13:1 KJV) Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.  (Rom 13:2 KJV) Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation.

        These texts clearly tell us that God sets up governments and that we must obey them.  What happens, then, when governments enforce unbiblical, immoral laws?   What do we do as Christians?  Well, here is what God tells us to do as Christians, (Ezek 3:18 KJV) When I say unto the wicked, Thou shalt surely die; and thou givest him not warning, nor speakest to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life; the same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand.  This text clearly tells us that it is our duty to warn the wicked, or erring individual or government, of his wickedness that he may have the opportunity to repent and be saved.  If we do not do this then God holds us accountable for the individual's loss of eternal life; because we did not warn them.

        In our democratic government this is more or less easy to do since we have freedom of speech.  But in other governments where they do not observe or believe in this type of freedom of speech, one's life can be in grave danger should one speak out against immoral legislation.  Yet one has to warn the individuals of their sinful legislation and actions.  While the Bible tells us to obey our governments, it also tells us that God has sent us as ambassadors into the world to warn the world of its sinfulness, regardless of the consequences.  For example we read in the Bible of Peter and disciples arrested for preaching Christ to the people.  How did these disciples respond when punished and told not to do so again?  Here is what they said to the leaders, (Acts 5:27 KJV) And when they had brought them, they set them before the council: and the high priest asked them, (Acts 5:28 KJV) Saying, Did not we straitly command you that ye should not teach in this name? and, behold, ye have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine, and intend to bring this man's blood upon us.  (Acts 5:29 KJV) Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men.

        In other words, dear friend, the Christian is under command from a much higher source than earthly leaders.  And the Christian's duty is to seek to save the very governments that are persecuting him, and that are seeking to destroy godly morality in society.  The Christian is not trying to be rebellious or lawless in any way; he is simply seeking to maintain a much higher standard of righteousness than some governments permit.  And this will in the end be only to the benefit of society if he, the Christian, should be listened to. 

        This is not to say that the Christian is trying to make governments religious; no.  He is simply trying to preserve godly morality in society; for it is only godly morality that will preserve society; and any deviation from this morality is sinful and inimical to society, hence God's command to the Christian to warn individuals.  In the end, because governments are the ones that have the power and authority, the Christian may have to suffer persecution or death for carrying out God's command.  God recognizes this and tells us, (2 Tim 3:12 KJV) Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.

        However, the story does not end with the death or persecution of the Christian.  For the Bible tells us that this same God will eventually return  to this earth to give the Christian life for his obedience, and will destroy the wicked and disobedient with fire that will cleanse the entire earth of them and their wickedness.  Here is what God says, (Mal 4:1 KJV) For, behold, the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble: and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the LORD of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch.

        And to the righteous God says, (Mat 25:34 KJV) Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.  Yes, friends, I am aware that it is hard, and even harder in some countries, to speak up for God's righteousness.  We therefore need to stay close to God in order to know how and when to speak out for the sake of his kingdom.  May God grant us this relationship with him.  God bless.

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