I’ve been reading Watchman Nee’s profound book entitled “Spiritual Authority”.
He talks a lot about how we should obey authority as these delegated authorities are put in place, set up by God. (See Romans 13 too).
Recently in church, I heard a sermon on authority, and how we should obey authorities.
But how about the times when we should disobey authorities?
I would first like to clarify that the only time we are allowed to disobey an authority is when the order goes against God’s word.
So how do you disobey, God’s way?
Watchman Nee says (and I paraphrase):
Disobey the order, and submit to the authority.
That means to disobey, and accept the consequences with an attitude of submission. Obedience isn’t always absolute – we don’t have to obey everything the authority tells us, but submission is always a must. Submission describes an attitude of the heart.
See the story of Daniel’s three friends – Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. They chose to disobey the king’s order to bow down to his golden image, and they submitted to being sent to death in a fiery furnace!
Another example would be Daniel who kept praying daily in spite of the threat of death. He submitted to being thrown into the lions’ den for disobeying the edict.
This is an important lesson my friends.
What if your parents forbid you for being a Christian?
Disobey and submit. Even if that means they might disown you.
What if your boss asks you to lie in that report?
Disobey and submit. That may mean losing your promotion or even your job.
What if we live in an autocratic and oppressive country in which you my be killed unless you renounce your faith?
Disobey and submit. You may be beheaded.
This is not an easy thing to do. Daniel and his friends were ready to go to their deaths.