The rioters who stormed the Capitol displaying Christian symbols have done irreparable harm to Christians in a manner that could be likened to “identity fraud.” By acting in a blasphemous manner that is the antithesis to Christ, these people have brought shame on the faith they claim to uphold.
Christians already face enough bias in everyday life, and the actions of some individuals posturing as Christians at the Capitol riots harm all of us by committing actions that go against Christian values and what Scripture actually teaches.
“Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and you will be commended.”
– Romans 13:1-3
This well-known passage written by the apostle Paul reminds us that, for the Christian, God is in control above all. Those who hold the seat of power do so according to God’s will.
The admonition here to Christians is to keep the peace, if possible, with all mankind. Regardless of whether someone is within the Christian circle or not, we are to love our neighbor as ourselves. Paul calls us to act with benevolence and honor toward all.
Further, Christians are instructed to abide by the laws of the country in which they live and respect the government that administers its laws.
Revolutionary action and violence by the Christian is forbidden. Those who resist these laws are, in essence, resisting God’s will. Lastly, we are admonished to do good. God has not ordained these leaders to punish good works. Therefore, do no harm, live honestly, and even heathens will understand the goodness of honest, quiet peaceful people.
Most people identifying themselves as Christians, yet going against the instructions of the apostle Paul in Romans 13, bring scorn, harm, dishonor to the Christian cause. Their actions were blasphemous, according to Scripture.
All Christians must remember that, no matter who is in the White House or any leadership position, no matter the ruler – God is ruler overall.
The harm that the rioters have done upon Christians is to imply that their behavior is representative of what a Christian is – which it most certainly was not. What transpired was a group of certain people acting in the name of Christians while not acting like Christians. In a sense, it is almost like identity fraud. These rioters were falsely impersonating true Christians.
Jesus explained how we identify a Christian:
“Therefore by their fruits you will know them.”
– Matthew 7:20
In other words, you will know them by their actions and deeds.
By definition, a Christian is one who follows Christ. Jesus defined his followers in this way:
“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
In the case of the Capitol Hill rioters, love does not destroy, intimidate, attack others or violate civil laws. There are no actions these rioters took that can be defended in a Christian context.