Should Christians Ever Engage in Violent Protests?

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Should Christians Ever Engage in Violent Protests?

These are times that call for Christians to be wise and discerning, shrewd as serpents and innocent as doves. We must know and understand the Word of God that we may live it out daily in a world that is hostile to Christ and to those that love Him. To learn more about these things as presented in today’s podcast, consider listening to the following sermons by Dr. Richard Caldwell:

Discernment For The Ages

Two Kinds Of Wisdom - Pts. 1 & 2

The Beautiful Life And Civil Authority

The Messiah Comes To His Temple

Christ The King - Pts. 1 & 2

The Source Of Our Conflicts

The Goal Of Our Ministry (8)

Ambassadors For Christ

Applying The Gospel

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Should Christians Ever Engage in Violent Protests?

It is the summer of 2020, and we are nearly eight months into the year. Currently, many are beginning to feel overwhelmed by the ongoing issues we see occurring in our nation and around the world. We have, and to some degree still are, experiencing a pandemic that has resulted in widespread death. We have been subject to quarantines, lockdowns, mask-wearing, social distancing, and more, all due to COVID-19. As the spread of the virus continues, the world goes on, albeit somewhat crippled. There are other deaths and tragedies that have occurred not because of the virus but despite it.

We have witnessed mass demonstrations, protests, and riots. We have seen the pulling down of and destroying of historic statues, the destruction of public spaces, and even some private places. Much of this comes in response to tensions in the culture related to social justice issues, racism, and the like. There are many Christians who agree with some of what has been going on. They say it is a way of making the government listen to us. Some have even used the example of Jesus cleansing the temple and driving the people out as a basis for why it's important to do these kinds of things to get the government to listen.

Should Christians use violence to be heard? Should Christians use the Bible and Jesus as an example for their authority to behave in these ways? Is this how Christians should think, act, and respond? These are the questions that are discussed this week on The Straight Truth Podcast. Dr. Richard Caldwell and host Dr. Josh Philpot help us think through these things biblically, so that our perspective and understanding would be from God's Word, through rightly dividing and applying it.

Christians Should Not Use Violence

Dr. Caldwell says no, Christians should not use violence as a means to be heard. We are not revolutionaries. The Bible teaches us submission to human authorities. The only time it allows for this to not be the case is if we are asked to violate the Word of God. In which case our responsibility is to obey Christ. However, even in the circumstance of our disobedience to civil authorities so that we obey Christ, we do not express in, by or with violence; it's expressed by our preaching of the gospel.

Dr. Caldwell explains that the New Testament world during biblical times was no less oppressive than our own. It may have even been more oppressive than the time we are now living in. What you find the apostles and the early church doing, is not marching, demonstrating, and protesting. You find them preaching the gospel and living out the Christian life before a watching world. A primary way you see them identified in their witness and relationship to Christ was their love. Yet this is not what we are seeing in our world right now. We are witnessing verbiage that is full of venom, hatred, bitterness, cursing, use of profanity, and the attacking of those in authority. Never has this characterized the New Testament Church, even in its finest moments.

In terms of those using Christ's example of cleansing the temple, Dr. Caldwell says that’s silly and wrong-headed. Christ is the Lord, and He was the Lord of the temple. During this event, He was fulfilling scripture as He went about in great zeal and authority. Jesus being the unique Son of God, had the authority to do this, this was His Father’s house. Therefore, this isn’t an example that can be taken and used for social justice.

Justice Is Not Understood

Dr. Caldwell goes on to say that we are living in a time when justice isn’t even understood. To talk about justice biblically you have to start in the Old Testament. For example, the Old Testament taught that you are not to give preferential treatment. There was to be no preferential treatment to anyone, not even the poor. You were not to give to or reward a man just because he was poor nor, were you ever to punish a man just because he was rich or vice-versa. The question was always, what is right in this situation. Therefore, when we begin to categorize people based on superficial things like melanin- the color of people's skin, and other sorts of things, and then we are going to arrange society based on all these things, we are not in touch at all with biblical justice.

What this comes down to is a kind of wisdom that is present in the world that does not reflect fellowship with God. This wisdom is absent from the wisdom found in Christ and the Scriptures. This topic of wisdom was discussed recently by Dr. Caldwell and Dr. Philpot on The Straight Truth Podcast. But once again, Dr. Caldwell reminds us these two kinds of wisdom are not the same. He tells us that when the church tries to embody the wisdom of the world or Christianize it, you can know that we are on the wrong road. What Christ gives us is entirely different from what the world is saying and doing. We need to look to God and His Word for what we do in these days.

About The Straight Truth Podcast

The Straight Truth Podcast: Christian Opinions in an Increasingly Secular World. Join Dr. Richard Caldwell, Dr. Josh Philpot, and their guests as they discuss news events, current affairs, and cultural issues from a Biblical point of view. Find the truth at

The Straight Truth Podcast is a weekly opinion show hosted by Dr. Richard Caldwell and Dr. Josh Philpot. Straight Truth is available as an audio podcast on iTunes or as a video podcast through YouTube or Vimeo.  The duration of the podcast is approximately 10 minutes. We release new episodes every Thursday.

The topics discussed in the Straight Truth Podcast are current events, matters that challenge traditional Christian values, and questions submitted by audience members. Dr. Caldwell, Dr. Philpot, and their guests seek to answer these questions with Biblical truths and from a Christian conservative point of view. The Holy Bible is the inspired, infallible, and inerrant Word of God; it alone is and will be the basis and authority of
answering any and all questions.

The Straight Truth Podcast is the perfect podcast for those seeking to strengthen their faith, to be informed on how to broach difficult topics with a Christian point of view, to share their faith with unbelieving friends, to challenge the status quo of their own beliefs by viewing them under the lens of the Scriptures, to interpret current news events from a Biblical point of view, and more.

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Season 12 Credits

Produced by
Juan Carlos Claveria

Executive Producers
Joshua Philpot
David Anders

Hosted by
Joshua Philpot

Social Media Descriptions by
Michele Watson

Makeup Artist
Samantha Claveria

Graphic Design
David Navejas


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El Centro Network

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Motion Graphics
Szymon Masiak

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