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Protest, Part 1

July 3, 2016

Pro-Life protest at US Supreme Court (2005), Author Rattleman (GNU Free Documentation License subject to Disclaimers)

Ten people were injured in California last Sunday, in a confrontation between white supremacists and protesters [1].  While violence cannot be condoned, there will be times that men and women of good conscience are called to speak out in opposition to racism, antisemitism, and injustice [2].

These days, we see Christians do this most often in defense of the unborn and the poor.  Christians (both black and white) have, also, played a major role in the civil rights movement.

But protest (another form of witness) does not necessarily require civil disobedience or manning the barricades, placards in hand.  We may encounter bigotry in our everyday dealings with others.

Not all Christians understand what the Bible has to say on the subject of protest.  This article is intended to clear up some misconceptions.


Open your mouth, judge righteously, And plead the cause of the poor and needy” (Prov. 31: 9).

Meekness is one of the fruits of the Spirit (Gal. 5: 22-23).  The meek, we are told, will inherit the earth (Matt. 5: 5).  Jesus described Himself as “meek and humble of heart” (Matt. 11: 29).  Scripture encourages us to be patient in suffering (James 5: 10-11).

We are, however, directed to speak out for the poor and needy.  How can these two concepts be reconciled?

Meekness reflects the Christian’s attitude toward self.  Christians are not to glory in their own achievements.  The Bible, however, is filled with commands to do justice and defend the weak (Lev. 19: 15, 35; Isa. 1: 17).  God unequivocally condemns injustice, repeatedly calling Himself a just God (Deut. 32: 4; Jer. 22: 13).

We are, in other words, to act justly, ourselves, and vigorously defend the rights of others.

Taking a Stand

And in the name of our God we will set up our banners!  May the Lord fulfill all your petitions!” (Ps. 20: 5).

Some Christians avoid discussing uncomfortable subjects, whether publicly or privately.  The Apostle Paul’s advice that Christians focus on lovely and admirable things (Philippians 4:8) is sometimes cited, in this regard.

Though hostile and angry confrontations should not be the norm for Christians, we may find ourselves involved in conflict, whether we want to be or not.

Paul never hesitated to take a stand for Christ.  He addressed the thorniest of issues (Gal. 5: 2-11).  He unashamedly shared his testimony, even when doing so might cost him his life (Acts 26).

We can do no less.

[1]  MSN News (courtesy of Associate Press), “White nationalists, protesters clash in California; 10 hurt”, 6/27/16,

[2]  All human beings were created in the image and likeness of God (Gen. 1: 26-27).  Whatever labels or symbolism groups like the Ku Klux Klan may choose to adopt, those that deny this fundamental truth are not acting in a Christian manner.  Nor is antisemitism consistent with Christianity.

Part 2 in this series will be posted next week

Have a great 4th of July!


  1. God bless you this week, Anna.

  2. Well, I have to wait a week for part 2? LOL. I have thoughts, but I bet you do too!

    A strong case can be made that organized protests are not particularly Biblical. Just a thought as you embark on this series, which I know will be factual and compassionate just like always.

    • I can always count on you to keep me on track, Wally. 🙂 Actually, I was thinking more of all the opportunities Christians have in the workplace and daily life to stand up for what is right. Too often, we let those pass us by rather than “rock the boat”. It doesn’t take a sit-in to voice a quiet objection to a dirty joke or take the side of a colleague being bullied or slandered.

      • Anna, you actually are right on the spot there. It’s a daily living our lives thing that changes the world, not railing in the streets screaming. Amen!

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