Mercy Street Church of Christ
Abilene, TX
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Limits of Authority

Limits of authority...
Whenever laws are enacted which contradict God's law, civil
disobedience becomes a Christian duty. There are notable
examples of it in Scripture. When Pharaoh ordered the
Hebrew midwives to kill the newborn boys, they refused to
obey. 'The midwives ... feared God and did not do what the
king of Egypt had told them to do; they let the boys live'
(Ex. 1:17). When King Nebuchadnezzar issued an edict that
all his subjects must fall down and worship his golden
image, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego refused to obey (Dn.
3). When King Darius made a decree that for thirty days
nobody should pray 'to any god or man' except himself,
Daniel refused to obey (Dn. 6). And when the Sanhedrin
banned preaching in the name of Jesus, the apostles refused
to obey (Acts 4:18ff). All these were heroic refusals, in
spite of the threats which accompanied the edicts. In each
case civil disobedience involved great personal risk,
including possible loss of life. In each case its purpose
was 'to demonstrate their submissiveness to God, not their
defiance of government'.(1)

(1) Charles W. Colson, "Kingdoms in Conflict, An Insider's
Challenging View of Politics, Power and the Pulpit"
(William Morrow/Zondervan, 1987), p. 251.

grace and peace to you,

For Mercy Street Ministries, I'm Stan Baldwin.



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