Counsel of Chalcedon
You are here:Home-Resources-Counsel of Chalcedon Magazine-1995 Issue 9-That the Living May Know: Civil Disobedience in the Book of Daniel Part 2

That the Living May Know: Civil Disobedience in the Book of Daniel Part 2

It is this statement in Acts 5:29, "We ought to obey God rather than men," which lays down the principles for biblical civil disobedience. A Christian's duty to obey God is greater than his duty to obey the government; when the government requires Christians to sin and go against God's Law, it is the Christian's duty to disobey.

If Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego had bowed before Nebuchad-nezzar's image, it would have been idolatry. The Hebrew midwives would have been guilty of murder if they had obeyed the king if Egypt. Likewise, if Daniel in Daniel 6 and Peter in Acts 5 had not disobeyed, they would be transgressors of God's Law. When the civil government commands the Christian to sin, disobedience is required by God. Christians must remember first of all that however ungodly a government may be, God, in His providence, ordained it to rule. Daniel 4:17 reminds the Christian that "the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will, and setteth up over it the basest of men." Proverbs 21:1 says, "The king's heart is in the hand of the LORD, as the rivers of water: he turneth it whithersoever he will."