John MacArthur: Should Christians protest or march against government?

John MacArthur: Should Christians protest or march against the government?

In 2019, prominent Bible teacher and apologist John MacArthur was asked whether Christians should protest, criticize, or rally against a corrupt government. MacArthur advised a resounding No! He said, “Christians should not be a part of a protest or a march for any insurrection or any anti-government activity.” [Bible Question 69]

Corruption in government does not end even if a dictator is overthrown. It just spreads corruption to more people. “But as a Christian, We don’t protest. We don’t take up arms, we don’t throw bombs, we don’t do graffiti. We submit to the powers that be because they are ordained of God,” he said.

Dictators are not necessarily doing God’s work, but the government is an entity that brings a certain measure of order to an otherwise chaotic environment.

Therefore, breaking down the government (which leads to anarchy) is not suitable for anyone. “Christians are basically forbidden to be a part of the tearing down of any governmental Authority,” MacArthur also said.


Submission to Authority

Apostle Peter emphasizes our responsibility to submit to governing authorities, regardless of how they ran the nation. Paul also provides reasons or motivations for this submission. This compelling argument highlights the importance of obeying this command.

MacArthur emphasizes, “We are to live quiet and peaceful lives. We are to honor those who are over us.” He draws parallels to historical contexts, such as Caesar’s rule during Christian persecution, reminding us of the biblical principle of submission to government leaders.

MacArthur advises that instead of resorting to activism, “We submit to the powers that be.” He advocates prayerful submission and leading exemplary lives within established authority structures.


Divine judgment over a corrupt nation

Understandably, it is difficult to stay put and not do anything as a citizen of a corrupt government. However, the Bible is clear: “Our citizenship is in heaven.” Our ultimate allegiance is to Jesus, and as followers, we must do what He asks, which is to disciple—not meddle in politics.

Three moralities of a nation that’s been judged

When God judges a nation, He gives them over three moralities, according to MacArthur. First, there is the sexual revolution (Romans 1:24). God gives a perverse generation over to their sinfulness, which is why America has had a homosexual revolution (Romans 1:26).

The third is God gives a perverse generation to a reprobate mind, which is a mind that doesn’t function (Romans 1:28). No wonder that today, educators and medical professionals cannot even define “what a woman is.” This is also why a growing number of gay people who were born men insist that they are women. “That is insanity,” he said.

The point is that a sexual revolution, which America had in the age of Aquarius, was followed by a homosexual revolution towards the 1980s.

Don’t get caught up in God’s divine judgment

Today, we have a kind of intellectual insanity that has led to a sinful lifestyle, which is God’s divine judgment (Romans 1:18-28). We cannot defeat it by rallying, protesting, or criticizing the government.

Understandably, Christians should do their part to uphold righteousness, but we also don’t want to get caught up in what God is doing in a society other than with the work of the Gospel.

Gospel-Centered Response

Ultimately, MacArthur emphasizes, “Our battle is not for this kingdom.” He emphasizes the priority of proclaiming the Gospel amid societal turmoil, anchoring our response in Christ’s eternal truth.

What Jesus said about criticizing the government is precise: Give to them what they ask for. Nowhere in the scriptures did Jesus discuss politics, nor did he rebuke how the evil Roman government ran the nation. Why should you?



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