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Civil Unrest: A Christian Response

by Mark Nickles  
12/07/2020 / Christian Living

            Sadly, rioting, looting and violence, has occurred over the last several months, in several different American cities. It even seems possible that it will continue - perhaps even escalating - after the finalization of the results of the presidential election. So, how should Christians address such activity? With total and complete opposition.

            There is no possible way that a follower of Christ can be in favor of the above activities. Following are reasons why, based on scripture (taken from the ESV).

            We’ll begin with Romans 13:1, which reads, “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.” As followers of Christ, we are to be obedient to those who govern, where those laws are just and agree with scripture. Riotous behavior is against local and national laws. Therefore, rioting is not suitable for the Christian.

            Next, we go all the way back to Exodus 20, in which God first hands down a written law. Verse 15 says, “You shall not steal.” The instruction is short, and to the point, with no conditions. God’s desire is that his people trust him for what they need, and that they work and not steal (Ephesians 4:28). Obviously, God’s people can never condone or participate in looting.

            Finally, we come to the words of Jesus in what is called “the Golden Rule”. This is found in Matthew 7:12 and Luke 6:31. The         account in Matthew reads, “So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.” We can be certain that no one of right mind wants violence inflicted upon them. Therefore, God’s people should not take part in violence, such as that seen across the nation, of late.

            It is clear and unequivocal: Not only should God’s people not participate in the riots, looting and violence, we have a biblical mandate to speak out against such activity, no matter what the provocation, and to pray for peaceful resolutions to all unrest. Short of that, we fail to live up to the call on our lives, by Christ, himself

Mark Nickles is a husband, father of three, and a pastor in Northeastern Oklahoma. Copyright, Mark A. Nickles.

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