I travel out of the country regularly. Sometimes I must be secretive about it—other times it is not necessary.
Some have asked why. There’s a good reason.
There are areas where we go that allow us to be there—in fact, they welcome us and are very open about it.
But that is not the norm—we are usually not invited, not wanted, not allowed.
I have had the question posed to me, “Do you think it’s okay to go where the law prohibits you to go? Is it okay to speak of Christ to a lost soul when the government says it’s against the law?”
Of course, I have my own opinion. I believe that we are to spread the Gospel wherever we can, however we can. But I know that not everyone agrees.
An important question to ask is, do the ends justify the means? This doesn’t pertain all of the time, but often it does.
A good friend whom I respect a great deal posed a scenario to me last week.
He said, “During the Holocaust a person asks you to hide him in your home, and you do. Then one day the police come and knock on your door, and ask you if you are hiding anyone. What do you do? Do you tell the truth and allow his death? Or do you lie and spare his life, possibly risking your own?”
This is not an easy question for some, very easy for others. Why the difference?
If we use the argument that the ends truly justify the means, it opens the door for everything—even terrorism and the taking of innocent lives by radicals—if it’s all for a cause that they deem worthy. In such cases, collateral damage is acceptable.
That being said, can we use the argument that breaking local rules (breaking the law) is justified when we have the opportunity to share the Word with the lost? That is a difficult question to answer especially if we are dealing with someone who may never hear otherwise. It is an eternal situation.
In Romans 13:1 we read,
Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God.
That is a key verse in arguing that we should not break the law—that we should turn over that person we are hiding in our home when the police ask if he’s there.
I use that example not because it is extreme, but because it is not extreme. It indicates the individual will die. Leaving a lost person in a lost condition results in eternal death.
Acts chapter 5 is a little different though. When the apostles were arrested, verses 27-29 state,
And when they had brought them, they set them before the council. And the high priest questioned them, saying, “We strictly charged you not to teach in this name, yet here you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching, and you intend to bring this man’s blood upon us.” But Peter and the apostles answered, “We must obey God rather than men.
The arguments are strong, and opinions often passionate. But the question remains—what do you think?