The Bible gives very clear instructions that Christians should
be subject to government authorities (Romans 13:1-4). Government,
according to scripture, is ordained by God to create order and
maintain it for the good of all. There may come times, however,
when doing the will of God requires breaking the law of the state.
This was certainly the case in the early church when the apostles
believed that to do the will of God, they would have to violate
the prescriptions of government authorities (Acts 5:29).
What seems to be at stake in the present discussion on the budget
is a whole redefinition of what government is supposed to be and
do. The Bible says that the government was ordained by God to
do the good of God (Romans 13). And I believe that the extreme
action that I took on December 7 was an attempt to call government
back to this biblically prescribed responsibility.
My other concern was for the church itself. There have been voices
in the Christian community of late that have communicated to the
world that Christianity is identified with the Religious Right.
I respect the Religious Right, but the people who make up this
group represent only a minority of the Christian community. As
the Religious Right calls for support for this kind of budget
cuts, I believed that it was essential to communicate clearly
that evangelical Christianity was not a monolithic group that
articulated such beliefs and values.
Tony Campolo is a professor of sociology at Eastern College
near Philadelphia and founder of the Evangelical Association for
the Promotion of Education.