Six reasons why Christians should not fight the government
We must submit to rulers and authorities (Titus 3). However, we should obey God than men; “expose evil” and rebuke sinners (Eph. 5:11; Luke 17:3).
But then Jesus commands us to love sinners and pray for those who persecute us (Mt. 5:44). With all this seeming confusion, the Bible is clear. Christians should not fight the government.
1. God calls us to be salt and light, not to be social justice warriors
To be “salt” means to make a difference in the life of others by doing good works. To be “light” means to witness God’s Word—not to be social justice warriors.
2. The Bible gives NO concrete example Christians must fight the government, but yes, we must expose evil!
- God “establishes” ALL government, good or bad. (Romans 13:1)
- God “removes” leaders according to His plan. (Daniel 2:20-22)
- God raised “evil rulers” in the past to judge a nation. (Habakkuk 1:6)
- We must expose evil. (Ephesians 5:11)
- Jesus tasked Christians to make disciples—not change the government. (Matthew 8:28)
- God allows a bad leader to rule in order to accomplish His perfect will.
We must expose evil.
3. The context of Proverbs 31:8-9 is for King Solomon
Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy.
- Christian activists often use this verse to justify ranting, rallying and criticizing the government. The context is far from it.
- King Lemuel (traditionally the young Solomon), mentioned in Proverbs 31, had a wise mother who gave this advice to him.
- His mother warns the young Lemuel, who is yet to be king, not to fall into the trap of immorality and drunkenness and never pervert justice. Instead, a king should seek “true justice.” Speak up for those who cannot, and defend the poor and needy.
- This is not about Christians waging war against civil authority.
4. Context of Ephesians 5:11 is exposing false religions, not civil disobedience
“Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them.“
- Ephesians 5:11 referred to exposing demonic practices and false religions. It has nothing to do with exposing evil in the government.
- The apostles knew the sins of the Roman government yet did NOT do anything about it.
- Exposing someone’s fault without offering God’s grace and redemption does not bring about the glory of God. Instead, like politics, it divides people.
5. Elijah, Nehemiah, Mordecai, and Queen Esther’s experience is NOT about fighting the government—always put scriptures into context
Elijah: A prophet’s role is to pull down or build up. God gave Elijah the “right” to be confrontational (Jer 1:10); that is what prophets do.
Nehemiah: As a cupbearer, he was devoted and respectful to King Artaxerxes that he helped him rebuild the temple (Ne 2:5). The “great protest” of Nehemiah was against his fellow Jews, not the King.
Queen Esther: King Xerxes obliged Esther because she was submissive to the crown. Even if she was Queen, she remained a humble subject (Esther 7:1-10).
She exposed evil to save her people by submitting to the King’s authority. Are you exposing or shaming someone?
Remember, you may speak up and defend the poor & needy (Pro. 31:8-9). Expose evil and corruption (Eph. 5:11). However, malign no one, be courteous, and avoid quarreling (Titus 3:2). Make it an ambition to lead a quiet life (1 Thessalonians 4:11), and don’t entangle yourself with civilian pursuits. (2 Timothy 2:3–4)
6. Look at Jesus’ response to answer if Christians should fight the government, join rallies, or criticize bad leaders
- Jesus did not incite people against their ruthless Emperor. (Luke 23:5)
- Jesus refused to be involved in political debate. (Mt. 22:15-22)
- Jesus knew the need for social-political change, but He came for another battle: To save souls.
- Jesus commands us to make disciples—not change the government (Matthew 28:18-20). It’s often non-Christians involved in social activism.
Jesus knew the need for social-political change, but he came for another battle.
Bottom-line, what battle are you fighting?
However, an active soldier of Christ does not involve himself with such things. (2 Timothy 2:3–4)
Evil and corruption in government will never rest. Jesus knew that, but it does not mean He approved it. His followers fought the battle for souls.
In His time, God will replace evil rulers and will raise unbelievers to do that.
- What does Jesus ask of me?
- What does the “great commission” mean to me?
- What qualifies me to criticize the government?
Share in suffering as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. No soldier gets entangled in civilian pursuits since he aims to please the one who enlisted him. (2 Timothy 2:3–4)
Jesus’ followers fought the battle for souls.