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Is Civil Disobedience the Only Option?

Early Monday morning, my city was put into a Covid-19 lockdown. Officially, the regulation is called: “Ontario Regulation 654/20: RULES FOR AREAS IN STAGE 1.” Under these directives, churches and other places of worship are limited to indoor worship gatherings of ten people. That includes any pastoral staff. That is not many people. Some of my pastor friends in the city are considering disobeying that order, believing that the Provincial Government has violated their rights to worship as articulated in Canada’s Constitution (the section entitled, Charter of Rights and Freedoms). Online petitions have started, rallies are planned and letters to...

My Threshold for Civil Disobedience in a COVID19 World

Most Bible-reading Christians will admit that as a general rule, believers should be subject to the civil magistrate. Romans 13:1–2 states the principle and supports it with an associated warning: “Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. 2 Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment.” (Romans 13:1–2 ESV) The Apostle Peter says something similar in his epistle, likely written during the reign of Nero Caesar: “Be subject for the Lord’s sake...

Two Reasons Why the Bible Tells Us to Obey Authorities 

Scripture tells us to honour the emperor (1 Pet 2:13), to submit to authorities (Rom 13:1), and to do good to all people (Gal 6:10). This represents the Bible’s basic stance on our relationship to authority. The Old Testament too confirms the rightness of submitting to proper authorities through its narratives. Throughout Scripture, God also calls us to what is good and right (Deut 6:18; 1 Pet 2:12). So if someone in authority tells us to deny Jesus or to act wickedly, we have to say, “We must obey God rather than men” (Acts 5:29). Hence, the martyrs died at...

Obeying Rulers with the Reformed Tradition

The Covid-19 pandemic has been disastrous for many people, especially those who have lost their lives, loved ones, or their jobs. Added to these tangible losses, friends, neighbours, families, and even churches have been divided over the measures various governments have taken to deal with the virus’ spread. Masks are certainly an annoyance. For those who have health problems or those who are required to work for long hours with one on their face, they are worse. Social distancing measures can also be difficult and are especially hard during holidays. This will be the first Christmas in my entire life...

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