How Should Christians React to the Threat of Jail?

Posted on May 6, 2020


By David Ettinger

Back on September 3, 2015, Rowan County, Kentucky, clerk Kim Davis was jailed for refusing to issue a marriage license to a gay couple. She was standing on biblical principle.

Though since then only a handful of evangelical Christians have been incarcerated for standing on principle, I believe more such incidents will put American Christians in a similar position. And I imagine the same holds true for the world’s other Western nations.

If so, how should we respond when the laws of our nation contradict the commands of the Bible?

Of course, the “textbook” example of this is the refusal of the apostles Peter and John to obey the directive of the Sanhedrin – Israel’s highest religious and political body – a directive that they no longer “speak at all nor teach in the name of Jesus” (Acts 4:18). Peter and John politely, eloquently, but boldly replied, “Which is right in God’s eyes: to listen to you, or to him? You be the judges!” (Acts 4:19).

Peter and John’s declaration speaks as loudly today as it did in the 1st century A.D. As believers in the Lord Jesus Christ, we must strive to be good and obedient citizens. After all, the apostle Paul instructs us to “be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God” (Romans 13:1). However, when those “authorities” usurp God’s authority by issuing decrees which incontestably contradict biblical mandates, then Christians should choose God’s way.

I am convinced that what occurred with Kim Davis was just the beginning, and that the noose strangling Christian freedoms in the U.S. — and elsewhere in the West — will become tighter and tighter. However, as Children of the King, we must never despair. God is on His throne, His Son will soon return, and we will be with Him for eternity.

Until that day, we tarry, we toil, and we lovingly tell anyone who will listen that there is One who loves them and offers forgiveness for their sins and an eternity of bliss with Him.

Yes, it is possible that you may one day be forced to make a decision similar to that of Ms. Davis, but this is no cause for alarm; you can never be separated from the love of Christ – your souls belong to Him. So, despite the dark clouds forming rapidly over Western nations, let’s keep in mind this soaring promise by Paul:

For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 8:38-39).

Amen. Come quickly, Lord Jesus!