Hello! I wonder if it is correct for Christians to protest? I ask this question after I heard pros and cons. Some say Christians should protest … for example why we do not protest (come out in the street) against all laws with non-biblical character submitted to Parliament. If we go out and protest against homosexuals, then why we do not come out to protest against Islam? Is the promotion of Islam a less sin? Is it less dangerous for our society?
Those who do not agree that Christians should protest say that we are love. And we must act through other means. As Jesus says “Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves; so be shrewd as serpents and innocent as doves. (Mat.10:16)”
At the moment I have a dilemma. If I look at what happened after the protest on March 17, 2011 against homosexuals …. yes, I am satisfied that the law was rejected. If I am right, it was delayed (which is dangerous). But two days later I watched some news about gay Orthodox priests. In my opinion, it is right to build a dialogue with politicians and make them understand what is good and what is not. The law was postponed, and if they postponed it just because we protested and not because they understood its danger, then we can expect that they will change their opinion and even some who were against it then, are now for it (after seeing the video with the priests involved in scandals). Many people and even many public figures associate the current church with the one in medieval times, when it was just a tool for managing people, a tool for stopping development of mankind. And if today the church is against something, they associate it with the Middle Ages, and think like this “Church forbids something good, so it is a brake.” I think we need to review what we do and how we do it? Maybe we should really be wise as serpents.
P.S. I am against gays and against Islam. But I do not know what to do with protests and I do not know how it is right to protest. By the way, I have recently read that Baptists are not Protestants and they were never Protestants (and this is interesting).
P.P.S What is the limit of religious tolerance? I would like to discuss about this in the future.
It is a long message and I will seek to answer the basic question related to protests.
Protest is a meeting and the Constitution of the Republic of Moldova says in Article 40 that:
Public meetings, demonstrations, rallies, processions or any other meetings are free and can be organized and held only peacefully, without any weapons.
As long as the protests organized by Christians or those where Christians participate are within the limits set by the Constitution and legislation, none of the participants is guilty of something bad. Unfortunately, I do not know why, there is a preconception in our nation that to protest is always wrong. Maybe it remained a rudiment of the communist system, when every meeting that was not organized by the Communist party was considered bad.
There is a very blessed Baptist church in village Cioburciu in Moldova that has grown great and has a very beautiful activity across the region. I was told that there, communism authorities seized 10 churches during the Soviet Union. Once, authorities came and locked the door of the church and when people came to the church, an old woman opened the window, went inside, opened the back door and invited everyone to enter the house of prayer. That gathering of the Church was against the law of that time. Did the brothers and sisters from Cioburciu act correctly? I say yes and so did all those who were not intimidated by authorities when they closed their places of worship. Christians met then to worship and pray in their homes, in forests, fields and were officiating baptisms being surrounded by police with dogs, because they knew that immediately after baptism they would be arrested and imprisoned.
The protest on March 17, 2011 was one that fit perfectly within the law and we, Christians of this country, are citizens who have and used the right of meeting.
You are right that we must always seek to act as the Holy Scripture teaches us:
If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men. (Romans 12:18)(NASB)
The protest on March 17, 2011 was not against homosexuals, but one that called politicians not to adopt the anti-discrimination law, that includes ‘sexual orientation’ criteria and that will entail more serious consequences for the whole society and every citizen.
As for other laws adopted by legislators from our country; laws that are contrary to Scripture, you are right, it was very, very bad that Christians were indifferent when they were adopted and did not take the required attitude. I personally feel guilty for this and I repent. How bad it is that when the Law on abortion was adopted the Church did not take the necessary attitude. Now it is very difficult to change this law, but not impossible.
Yes, I agree that protest is not the best way to promote Christian values in the legislation of the country and to protect existing values by those interested to destroy them.
This calls for true Christians, who live according to the teachings of Jesus Christ, to engage in politics. I pray God to raise politicians that as soon as possible will create a party built on the foundation of the Scriptures and will enter the Parliament at the next elections and thus, take active and direct part in the creation of the laws.
Another method for Christians is to organize lobby groups. This practice is not very used in our country, but we need to use it.
Translated by Felicia Rotaru