Criminal charges were brought against five street preachers in the state of Washington. Christians are supposed to obey the laws of the land. But, when laws of the land are made that oppose Bible commands, we must obey the Bible. Preachers have faced persecution for obeying the Bible throughout time.

Criminal Charges

Five evangelistic, street preachers in the state of Washington were charged criminally for preaching outside of a high school. In this case, a noise law was twisted to bring charges against the evangelists. It was claimed that they were violating a noise ordinance. The street preachers received prior approval to preach near the school. Those who did not like the preaching found a way to bring criminal charges against the street preachers.

Guilty of Presenting Gospel

The street preachers gave the gospel message from a public sidewalk at the edge of the high school parking lot. They held up signs and spoke to students about the gospel as they left. The preachers were confronted by a school resource officer of the Washougal Police Department. He told them that they were breaking the city noise ordinance and that the school did not welcome their “protesting.”

Freedom of Speech in Danger

One of the street preachers who were criminally charged said it reminded him of when he lived in the Soviet Union. The KGB in Russia harassed and brought complaints against anyone preaching the gospel. The preacher said that the school and the police acted anti-Christian. This particular preacher was simply handing out gospel tracts to students and telling them, “Jesus loves you.”

The Gospel Message Stopped

A Christian law group represented the street preachers in court. Thankfully, the case was dismissed against the street preachers. Sadly, people all over the world are being jailed for preaching the gospel. Many people are even murdered for preaching the gospel. The gospel about Jesus is hated by the enemies of God. Freedom of speech to spread the gospel in the United States may end in the near future. We need to spread the gospel door-to-door before it is too late.

Obey the Laws of the Land

Romans 13:1-6 “Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation. For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same: For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil. Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake. For for this cause pay ye tribute also: for they are God’s ministers, attending continually upon this very thing.”

God Puts Governments in Charge

God puts kings, presidents and other government officials in power. The citizens under a government are responsible to obey the laws the government makes. It is wrong to carry out violence against the government just because you do not like their laws. Christians are to respond with peace, not violence.

Government Ministers of God

Rulers are put in place by God to restrain and punish those who do evil. The government is supposed to encourage good deeds in obedience to the Bible. Government officials are ministers of God.

Revenge by Government

Government officials are put in place to carry out God’s vengeance against those who do evil. Sin always has a penalty. Sometimes the government is used to carry out that penalty. If we do evil, God may use the government to punish us. Since we know that God wants us to obey the laws of the government, we should do it joyfully. This means even paying taxes. Jesus gladly paid taxes.

Obey God Rather Than Man

Sometimes a corrupt government makes laws contrary to the Word of God. This would be the only case when we must disobey the law made by the government. For example: we are told in the Bible to spread the gospel, Mark 16:15. If a law is made forbidding the spreading of the gospel, we must continue to obey God and spread the gospel. Of course, we can be discreet as much as possible. Drinking liquor is being made legal all across the United States. But, it is still disobedient to God’s law to drink liquor, Proverbs 23:29-35; Proverbs 20:1. Do not find false excuses to disobey the laws of the government that are backed up by God’s Word!

Acts 5:26-29 “Then went the captain with the officers, and brought them without violence: for they feared the people, lest they should have been stoned. And when they had brought them, they set them before the council: and the high priest asked them, Saying, Did not we straitly command you that ye should not teach in this name? and, behold, ye have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine, and intend to bring this man’s blood upon us. Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men.”

Preachers Persecuted in the Past

An evil law was passed by the corrupt government in the time of Daniel. He was forbidden by the law to pray to God, as he always did. Daniel broke this evil law by continuing to pray. But, when they came to arrest Daniel, he did not resist. Daniel trusted God to reward him for his faithfulness to God’s law. As we know, God closed the mouths of the hungry lions so that they could not eat Daniel. The enemies of God and Daniel who encouraged the evil law, about prayer, faced God’s judgment, as the lions feasted on them.

Christians need to vote for good government, and pray for the government that we get, even if they are corrupt. God will judge those who make laws contrary to His Word.

Daniel 6:7-10 “All the presidents of the kingdom, the governors, and the princes, the counsellers, and the captains, have consulted together to establish a royal statute, and to make a firm decree, that whosoever shall ask a petition of any God or man for thirty days, save of thee, O king, he shall be cast into the den of lions. Now, O king, establish the decree, and sign the writing, that it be not changed, according to the law of the Medes and Persians, which altereth not. Wherefore king Darius signed the writing and the decree. Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went into his house; and his windows being open in his chamber toward Jerusalem, he kneeled upon his knees three times a day, and prayed, and gave thanks before his God, as he did aforetime.”

HIBM Editorial by Avi Goldstein * Criminal Charges Against Street Preachers! – Dr. K. Daniel Fried, Editor in Chief – copyright © 2018

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