1819 News CEO and host of 1819 News: The Podcast Bryan Dawson sat down with two Alabama ministers to figure out the answer to a question many conservative Christians have been asking in 2022: When is it OK to disobey the government?
Brandon Scroggins of the Reformation Baptist Church in Wetumpka and Rich Lusk of Trinity Presbyterian Church in Birmingham joined Dawson.
Scroggins said he started up on the topic of Christian resistance to tyranny after governments around the world started shutting down churches and economies in response to COVID-19.
Of course, the central piece of scripture surrounding the debate around Christian disobedience to civil authorities has always been Romans 13. The Apostle Paul wrote the Epistle to the Romans in the first century.
In the 13th chapter, Paul tells the church in Rome to obey the governing authorities and pay taxes.
"Let every person be subject to the governing authorities," the passage reads. "For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, for he is God's servant for your good."
"Romans 13 obviously is an incredibly important passage when it comes to our understanding of civil government," Lusk said. "And it does call upon us in ordinary circumstances to submit to our government. That needs to be a starting point for the discussion. We're not rebels out there looking to stir things up … But I like to point out the fact that the same guy who wrote Romans 13 … escaped from the civil magistrate by being let down through a window in the city wall in a basket. This same man who wrote Romans 13 was ultimately put to death by Caesar because of his refusal to obey Caesar."
Lusk gave other examples of righteous disobedience from other books of the Bible, both the New Testament and the Old. He also gave examples from the Early Church and other periods in Christian history.
"We can disagree [about] what point civil disobedience needs to take place," said Scroggins. "But the fact that there is a place for it, we really can't disagree about that."
Don't miss out! Subscribe to our newsletter and get our top stories every weekday morning.