Should Christians participate in civil protest?
The first amendment to our Constitution guarantees several rights including freedom of religion, of speech, of the press and “the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.” The key word here is peaceably, in fact the courts have consistently declared that protests are not to infringe upon the rights of other people, which would include endangering their lives, destruction of property and even such things as the disruption of traffic and normal business. But should Christians take part or be a part of politics? In the Bible we read, “Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people.” (Proverbs 14:34) and again, “When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice; but when a wicked man rules, the people groan.” (Proverbs 29:2). In order for righteousness to exalt a nation, and for the righteous to rule, the righteous need to be involved in the political process. We know that we are to submit to the authority of government (Romans 13:1-7; I Peter 2:11-17) and I would submit that in our government, submission includes such things as voting and can also mean being involved at one level or another. This of course raises the question as to what does our involvement look like?
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