Peter's Stand

9:21 AM

When is it okay to stand against authority?

Obviously, from Scripture, it isn’t because of corruption or immorality. As we read in 1 Samuel and in Romans, God calls us to honor, respect, and even obey the authorities that are corrupt. So is it ever okay to say no to authorities? Yes, and I think Scriptures provide a wonderful example in Acts chapter 4.

Peter and John where brought before the Sanhedrin. We know that Peter was full of the Holy Spirit at this point (verse 8) and spoke with great boldness. Peter even recognized their position of authority (verse 8), and they only asked him to do one thing and he refused.

Then they called them in again and commanded them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus. Acts 4:18 NIV

One request, but this was the one they could not comply with.

But Peter and John replied, “Which is right in God’s eyes: to listen to you, or to him? You be the judges! As for us, we cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard.” Acts 4:19-20 NIV

So can we take a stand against authority? Can we refuse their requests? Yes! If they ask us to deny our faith, stop telling others about Jesus, or ask us to do something directly against God, we are supposed to refuse.

One of my favorite modern examples of this is Brother Andrew. I was reading the other day in his wonderful book The Exodus Mandate about authority. While in a county, he would obey the speed limits, taxing laws, etc. all while smuggling illegal Bibles to people. He refused to obey the laws that would keep him from preaching the good news, but followed all other laws.

When the government demands that we discard our faith and the morals it teaches, we must disobey those orders. Yet, we should not allow ourselves to go so far as to disregard the other laws (speed limits and such) or speak against the authorities.

Don’t take my word for it, read your Bible and come to your own conclusions. Join my next week for the final post in this series.

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