The Objections of Conscience
Patrick Henry Reardon on Civil Disobedience
A recent editorial in Touchstone drew attention to the Pauline thesis that the authority of the state is a conscientious authority. That is to say, the Christian is obliged to submit to civil authority, “not only because civil authority has the power to exact that submission, but also ‘for the sake of conscience’ (Romans 13:5).”
If this is so, obedience to the authority of the state is not morally neutral, and the resolve to resist that authority is a most serious and potentially perilous decision. Caesar, after all, is called “God’s servant,” and . . .
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Patrick Henry Reardon is pastor of All Saints Antiochian Orthodox Church in Chicago, Illinois. He is the author of Christ in the Psalms, Christ in His Saints, and The Trial of Job (all from Conciliar Press). He is a senior editor of Touchstone.
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