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Featured Should a Christian ever support a rebellion or uprising against an evil government?

Discussion in 'Christian Philosophy & Ethics' started by Sune, Oct 14, 2020.

  1. Sune

    Sune New Member

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    Hi all, I realise there is unlikely to be a consensus on this, but I was wondering, based on Romans 13, is there ever a scenario in which a Christian should help overthrow a government? I've noticed that in some articles people have said that since this told in the time of Nero, a truly corrupt and evil ruler, we should submit even to evil authorities. Whereas others have said that in the case that a government has become completely against the word of God and no longer does good a Christian may do so, but only if there is no other option.

    I'm just wondering, because I recall that my church's old pastor once said that we should overthrow evil regimes if they were too corrupt, but perhaps I misheard, or can't remember the context properly.
     
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  2. Jeshu

    Jeshu Bought by His Blood Supporter

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    i believe it has to do with rebellion rather than replacing an evil government with a good one. Unjust governments breed discontent and rebellion these forces should never be heeded. However this does not mean we should leave such Governments in place if we have a choice about that.

    Romans 13 does say Governments who use laws for good, that is why we have to submit to them, but when Governments are unjustly working against the truths of Scripture, like oppressive regimes do, then we should not support such governments and in a peaceful and open manner make our position known and seek for a better form of government who rule according to God's word.

    When Peter was told not to preach in the name of Jesus then he told the high priest that he would rather obey God than men.
     
  3. Basil the Great

    Basil the Great Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I would say definitely in the case of a Hitler, where millions of innocent lives were at risk. As for other scenarios, Jesus did not appear to side with the Jewish rebels of his time, so I am uncertain as to exactly what other cases might be justified. I certainly do not favor the Revolutionary War scenario. That was not all that necessary of a war. I hardly think that taxation without representation is sufficient a cause to go to war. After all, the Jews in 030 A.D. were taxed and they had no representation in Rome, yet Jesus effectively said that the should should pay taxes, when he looked at the coin and saw Caesar on it. I guess that our Rev. War ancestors did not look at the example of Jesus very closely when they took up arms against the British.
     
  4. Sune

    Sune New Member

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    Hi Basil, I also feel that taxation may not been the best reason in that scenario, as an Aussie though, I don't really know enough to comment. Do you think violent opposition is ever warranted, or only peaceful protest? In all honesty, I'm not really sure where my own feelings sit on this. If rebellion would save countless lives, would it be a sin NOT to? Thankfully God is merciful to us if we act in faith and love.
     
  5. d taylor

    d taylor Well-Known Member

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    All government kingdoms are possessed by satan, so one replaces the other.
     
  6. timothyu

    timothyu Well-Known Member

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    We according to Jesus are to be an alternative way of life, setting ourselves aside from the us/them struggles of man. All conflicts are based upon self serving ideals. Evil/good is what man determines it to be to suit our own agendas. we are to be a neutral force serving all sides, kind of like a red cross of humanity. If ambassadors of the Kingdom join into the fray, then we lose our Kingdomly position, having rejoined the world of man. You probably won't hear this in church even though it is what Jesus taught, simply because the institutionalised religion rejoined the world of man in partnership with their institutions, all built upon the same foundation, over 1700 years ago. It is not about to preach against itself. But you might like to bring it up someday with your instituion to see the response.
     
  7. Carl Emerson

    Carl Emerson Well-Known Member

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    Plenty of fine Christians fought in the second world war...
     
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  8. Sune

    Sune New Member

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    Hi Carl, but what do you think of those who served in resistances, or defected/worked against their original government, is OK to rebel in those situations as well? I certainly do not oppose those who serve in just wars, but I have wondered about cases such as civil wars, where the people themselves dethrone their government.
     
  9. Carl Emerson

    Carl Emerson Well-Known Member

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    Well a classic case is giving Jews safe haven and rescue - against the law but in faith like Rahab...
     
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  10. Michael Collum

    Michael Collum Everything began with a voice, use yours Supporter

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    Under the same logic, we would overthrow corrupt church governments.

    What are your thoughts on this?
     
  11. Sune

    Sune New Member

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    I feel that as Christians we are obligated to rebuke our brothers and sisters if they go against God's will, but that it also is important to do so via the proper authorities. When that is no longer an option, I suppose it might be a choice of leaving if possible, or staying to continue to evangelise others where possible. However, we would not be able to endorse their evil or take part in it. I had an interesting discussion with my father about this, who said that there is also a factor of not becoming a tool of an evil government. However, to be truthful I'm not sure where the line would be crossed, as such I neither condemn nor condone it as a last resort option, and even then only in times of great need, i.e genocide, maybe total corruption, where no legal or peaceful option is viable. However, many believing Christians will have different views on this, and how far one can go.

    I suppose in such situation one must act in a way one believed will please the lord and rely on his mercy if we are mistaken. We certainly must stand against evil and disobey authority when their orders are contrary to God's will (e.g hiding the Jews in WW2), however, thankfully many of us live in a place where we have freedom to practice our faith and a government that is (mostly) just. I pray that we are never placed in such a situation, but for many people, this is a horrible reality.
     
  12. WrappedUpinHisLove3

    WrappedUpinHisLove3 Well-Known Member

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    We are never to submit to oppression

    If a government told me I wasn't allowed to read the bible or meet with other believers, I would not be obeying!!! don't would do all could to meet and read Bible in secret

    I believe it is right to stand informed oppressed where we can! Like racial justice issues, poverty issues, abuse and trafficking issues etc
     
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  13. WrappedUpinHisLove3

    WrappedUpinHisLove3 Well-Known Member

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    I

    Yes

    Also if I were being oppressed in a way other than for my faith, again if fight it

    I am on welfare, disability as c ant work. If the government unjustly cut my money I wouldn't sit there and take it, I would rally all the support i could to make sure i.could get what I need

    If I were denied a medical treatment I needed in would campaign to get it. I wouldnt roll over like. A good little girl!

    If I could work.and was being treated unfairly, wage inequality, sexism, bad working conditions etc yes I would join a union or something

    It's is same with oppression. If I see someone being oppressed I wont submit to that
     
  14. WrappedUpinHisLove3

    WrappedUpinHisLove3 Well-Known Member

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    We obey the law of the land unless it is being oppressive in any way
     
  15. WrappedUpinHisLove3

    WrappedUpinHisLove3 Well-Known Member

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    If I had been an able bodied male in the US in the time of the Vietnam war is be putting flowers into guns and holding hands with hippies as I believe that was not a just war.

    However, in would have been happy to go against Hitler. He killed many of my people And countless others.

    protesting peacefully a against others is not wrong

    we are never to submit to evil

    being told to obey our government was also listed alongside wives obeying husbands, under age children obeying parents etc yet we don't expect a wife or child t submit to oppressive treatment from a husband or parent, why should a government be different
     
  16. Francis Drake

    Francis Drake Returning adventurer.

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    I think all America should repent of its sinful rebellion against the rightful authority of King George, and of course that repentance would include willingness to return to the fold of British sovereignty.
    As many will be aware, the UK Westminster government has devolved certain powers of regional government to Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales, each having their own limited legislative powers. In the light of that, we would be obviously grant limited powers of self government to Colonial America, as long as they kept up the payment of taxes.
     
  17. Michael Collum

    Michael Collum Everything began with a voice, use yours Supporter

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    I believe the amount of thought you put into this is a good direction.

    The response to rebel against authority should never be done on impulse but after careful weighing of options and thoughtfulness.
     
  18. timothyu

    timothyu Well-Known Member

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    How much of this soul searching is based on the upcoming election?
     
  19. WonbyOneanddone

    WonbyOneanddone Member

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    Jesus taking a whip to the moneychangers is important because it shows us that he was not a pacifist as many incorrectly assess him to be.

    The issue is not tactics, the issue is fighting for the will of the Father vs. your own desire or will.

    And as we read scripture, it is evident God wishes from time to time to overthrow various regimes for various purposes.
     
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  20. Sune

    Sune New Member

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    Ah, I'm in Australia, so the politics are not quite as intense as in the USA at the moment. This topic mostly sprung up when I thought about how often rebellion is often portrayed a the right thing to do in many movies and books, e.g Star Wars, Eragon, Braveheart, etc. It made me wonder what the Christian perspective on the matter was, and here I am.
     
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