Paul’s appeal to his Roman citizenship shows us that Christians can use the law of the land when facing injustice or illegal actions against them. There are organisations in our country today that help Christians in this way (e.g. The Christian Institute and Christian Concern.) Sometimes, the help may be for an individual (e.g. the Ashers, who were faced with legal action against them because their bakery refused to make a cake which supported homosexual marriage) or for groups of people (e.g. the current action being taken by 122 church leaders against the Government’s edicts closing all places of worship during the first two lockdowns in 2020.) Whatever the individual case, these organisations work with Christians who are increasingly concerned that laws are being misinterpreted against Christianity and that discrimination is made against those who seek to follow Christ.
We may like to believe that the United Kingdom upholds good laws and that those laws will be there to protect innocent citizens, but we need to be aware that there may well be times when we need to either seek the protection of the law or to reform laws which are not in line with God’s ways. Issues connected with euthanasia, abortion, gender and freedom of speech are all areas of concern to God’s people in our society today.
We all appreciate the many benefits we enjoy in our country, including law and order, the right to vote, access to healthcare and educational opportunities. Other issues may well need to be discussed, challenged and worked through, and there will be a range of responses to difficult questions. Sometimes, however, change will only come when God’s people rise up and declare His ways above the world’s way. Historically, all sorts of legislation such as the abolition of the slave trade and the protection of children and adult workers from exploitation and human trafficking have come about because God’s people have campaigned and lobbied for change.
We need to pray for Christians working in Parliament and local councils and for organisations working both to uphold the law and reform the law. Paul benefited from Roman law. We too benefit from many laws which protect us, but we must also be aware that the enemy seeks to destroy freedom and oppose truth, and this can happen when unjust laws are passed. We don’t live in a vacuum. The prevailing culture around us is not necessarily amenable to Christian truth and we must be prepared to stand for truth, even at personal cost.