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New Song: God is a Criminal
I wrote a song the other day! It goes like this:
1. God is a criminal, it isn’t hard to see
In the book of Acts He breaks the law to set the captives free
An unjust law is no law at all, compassion is the key
God is a criminal, so that’s what I want to be
2. God is a hippie, it isn’t hard to tell
He commands us to love our enemies and all our stuff to sell
Among the poor and prostitutes is where He likes to dwell
God is a hippie, and so am I as well
God is a Criminal
In Acts 12, when Peter is sitting in prison for having preached the Gospel. God sends an angel to free him from his chain, blind the eyes of the guards and open the gates. Now that’s serious criminality. If you have a friend in jail, you have to respect the legal procedures and hope that s/he is freed in court – you’re not allowed to send a supernatural being to crush some chains and doors. That’s not legal. That’s not obedient. Still, God does that. According to divine law, evangelism is not a crime. For the same reason, Jesus was crucified as a criminal even though He is sinless according to the divine law.
Thus, Christians aren’t supposed to follow the law at all time. If the law says that we cannot preach the Gospel, or that Jews should be killed, or that whites and blacks have to be separated, we have to disobey in order to be obedient to our Lord. This is why I have been a strong supporter of civil disobedience.
Recently, I have been forced to think a bit extra about this though, because of this blog post at Jesus Radicals. In it, some anonymous people write about how they took 200 sexist calendars from a local kiosk and replaced them with signs like “Misogyny is out of stock” and “The female body is not a commodity”. They also give some tips of how to rob stores effectively.
Several news media have written about the event and many thought that the post simply meant that Jesus Radicals is behind the crime, while they argue that it was sent to them anonymously and they just posted it to encourage debate. Putting that aside, is the action moral? Obviously, stealing is wrong both according to human law and divine law – “You shall not steal” is a command that is repeated both by Jesus (Mark 10:19) and Paul (Eph 4:28). But what is stealing then?