More thoughts on Charles Stanley

    I’ve been thinking some more about what Charles Stanley said last week about how he thinks Christians should not protest, and should only work to ensure harmony with the government. (My earlier post on this can be read by clicking here.)

    I very much disagree with him on this, but I do think part of the problem is that Stanley is not seeing the culture of the writers of the New Testament. There are several scriptures in the NT that seem to support the idea of not speaking out against the evils of the governing powers and obeying the laws to the extent that conscience allows. (Being the kind of quiet or even complicit citizen that Stanley would support.)

    However, given the fact that the first century was under the oppression of the evil Roman Empire at the time, I think those instructions were primarily written as a matter of survival. Certainly God did care about the oppression of people in those days but more importantly God wanted the church to be established. Once the church was well established, then the church did take on culture and government. (for instance, once Christianity became the official state religion of Rome slavery was abolished) The question was time and place.

    Christians were persecuted plenty for simply practicing and teaching what they believed. If the early church had also taken on sexism, racism, etc. head-on it would have been crushed. Instead, the church was more subversive than that, living out the principles of egalitarianism and love for all in their own community, while hoping and praying for the time when they could do more.