241: When is It Okay to Disobey the Law?
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Civil disobedience has long been an effective manner of protest, both in antiquity as well as in contemporary societies. The protests led by Gandhi in India, the American civil rights movement of the 20th century, and the Boston Tea Party (as a part of the events leading up to the American Revolution) have all been some of the most famous and most effective forms of civil disobedience in world history.
Was it sinful for the founders of the USA to disobey the king of England in this manner? Should they not have rendered unto King George what seemingly was King George’s right?
Was it sinful for globally-known civil rights leaders like Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, and Martin Luther King to encourage people to disobey the law? When should we submit and obey our leaders, and when should we intentionally disobey? Is it always sinful to disobey leaders, or are there moments when it is okay to disobey the law
In this episode, Kenny clearly answers these questions by reminding us about the purpose of governments in the first place. Humans are sinful, therefore too much freedom isn’t good, because it would lead to sinful anarchy. Government structures and restraints are good because they bring law and order.
But when a leader or the government is no longer fulfilling its God-ordained purpose, for which is was established in the first place, then it is time for the people to disobey that structure as a form of protest, or in some extreme cases, it may indeed be time to get rid of that particular leader or government.
Kenneth E. Ortiz (M.Div.) is a professor and recruiter at Bethlehem College and a pastor at Cities Church in St. Paul, MN. He has 15+ years of vocational ministry experience. He’s also a podcaster, author, and Ph.D. student. Kenneth lives in Bloomington, MN with his wife Malaina, they have one daughter.