POLITICAL AUTHORITY . . . Sometimes Christians need to be contrary

We gave you strict orders not to teach in this name, he said. Yet you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching and are determined to make us guilty of this man’s blood. Peter and the other apostles replied: We must obey God rather than men!” (Reference: Acts 5:28-29 )

Peter and the other disciples had been told not to preach about and proclaim Jesus’ name. Jesus was not very popular with the Jewish religious leader – this rising from the dead, in addition to how he disrespected their authority, was just too much! But Peter and the other disciples paid about as much attention to what they Jewish religious leaders wanted as Jesus had done.

Sometimes the call of living a Christian life puts one in direct opposition to political authority. The historic Anabaptists had plenty of experience in that. From day one the historic Anabaptist disputed everything the religious leaders of the established church of their time demanded. Oppression, persecution, and death was pretty inevitable. This was as true for Jesus’ disciples as it was for the historic Anabaptists, and other committed Christian in the history of Christianity.

The adversarial relationship politics and Christianity have seems to prove again and again that the two do not mix well. The only thing worse is when people try to mix the two; what results is just a mess of “biblical proportions”! But of course, beloved, you know my opinion of politics. Even I am trying to wean myself off of being “politically” non-political. And yes, it is very easy for me to be opposed to political authority.

Admittedly I have never had to defined my beliefs against political authority; I suppose I should be grateful that I have not been “tested” in that way. I think that is because I am committed to the way of peace as well. I do not set out to make enemies and try to conduct my life so that I live at peace with everybody. Not that I give in; I can be very adamant about things. But I try to be gentle with all people; and I find ways to relate to others, even in the event of potentially adversarial relationships.

May you, beloved, establish firmly in yourself what you belief taking guidance and direction from our Lord. And when you have to face those who oppose your faith, may God be with you. Selah!

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About Carole Boshart

I have two blogs on WordPress. "A Simple Desire" which is based on the daily "Sips of Scripture" published and sent out by Third Way Cafe. "Pondering From the Pacific" is based on my reflections on the world - sometimes religious/spiritual, and sometimes not so much.

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