In Acts 5:29 Peter says, “We must obey God rather than men.” This specific instance occurs when the high priest and the “senate of the people of Israel” arrested the apostles after they had been commanded not to teach in the name of Jesus (Acts 5:17-42). Christians today tend to believe that if the government suppresses the Gospel then we are charged to disobey the government and do it anyway.
This seems obvious and the New Testament text is clear. I want to ask if that is all we are called to do? What if the government breaks God’s law in other areas like murder, theft, idolatry or Sabbath breaking? Does it matter?
In 1 Kings 21:19 the LORD condemns Ahab the King of Israel because he “killed and also [took] possession” of the property of Naboth. The reason Naboth would not give it up was because of Old Testament inheritance laws (1 Kings 21:4). The reason Ahab is condemned is because he killed the owner and stole the property. Elijah condemned Ahab’s action.
Does the Christian of today have a responsibility to condemn immoral actions of the government or powers that be? Is that only an Old Testament principle? If it is only an Old Testament principle, then why do we vote? Or to be more specific, why do we consider any moral principles (like abortion) when we vote if that is only an Old Testament issue?