Although we are forbidden from revenge, God has created human government for the punishment of those who violate His Law. Christians should report violations of God’s Law and cooperate fully with the government agency investigating the alleged crime. The Bible teaches a personal ethic in Romans 12, but follows this personal ethic with a government ethic. Just because I am supposed to turn the other cheek it does not mean that sexual assault, rape, physical violence, etc. are to go unpunished. Romans 12 teaches our response, and Romans 13 teaches the government’s response to the same incident.
Dare any of you, having a matter against another, go to law before the unjust, and not before the saints? Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? and if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters? Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life? If then ye have judgments of things pertaining to this life, set them to judge who are least esteemed in the church. I speak to your shame. Is it so, that there is not a wise man among you? no, not one that shall be able to judge between his brethren? But brother goeth to law with brother, and that before the unbelievers. Now therefore there is utterly a fault among you, because ye go to law one with another. Why do ye not rather take wrong? why do ye not rather suffer yourselves to be defrauded? Nay, ye do wrong, and defraud, and that your brethren.1 Corinthians 6:1-8
Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment: But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of heck fire. Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee; Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift. Agree with thine adversary quickly, whiles thou art in the way with him; lest at any time the adversary deliver thee to the judge, and the judge deliver thee to the officer, and thou be cast into prison. Verily I say unto thee, Thou shalt by no means come out thence, till thou hast paid the uttermost farthing.Matthew 5:21-26
1 Corinthians 6 has been used by many churches to stop believers from pressing charges against pastors, deacons, etc. for child abuse, molestation, etc. This is not what 1 Corinthians 6 teaches! 1 Corinthians 6 is an extension of Jesus’ teachings in Matthew 5. Christians should be quick to settle disputes out of court. This is speaking of civil matters; this has nothing to do with a crime like rape.
Then said Paul, I stand at Caesar’s judgment seat, where I ought to be judged: to the Jews have I done no wrong, as thou very well knowest. For if I be an offender, or have committed any thing worthy of death, I refuse not to die: but if there be none of these things whereof these accuse me, no man may deliver me unto them. I appeal unto Caesar.Acts 25:10-11
The Apostle Paul shows a perfect example of cooperation with the government. He had been arrested even though he had done nothing wrong. However, through the course of his trial he fully cooperated and even expressed his willingness to be punished if he was convicted of a crime. Christians should fully cooperate with the police and hand over any and all information pertinent to the investigation.
A Psalm of Asaph. God standeth in the congregation of the mighty; he judgeth among the gods. How long will ye judge unjustly, and accept the persons of the wicked? Selah. Defend the poor and fatherless: do justice to the afflicted and needy.Psalm 82:1-3
God rules among the judges of the land to see that justice is done. God condemns those who would protect evil doers. We are commanded to defend the defenseless and see that justice is done. There is hardly anyone as defenseless as a little child. If we protect prominent church members from criminal prosecution we are in direct disobedience to God’s Word. We must ensure the protection of innocent women and children who will be harmed by a sexual predator.
If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified. But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or as a thief, or as an evildoer, or as a busybody in other men’s matters.1 Peter 4:14-15
It is not persecution to be punished for a crime! Many times church people will proclaim that they are being “persecuted by the world” when they are arrested for rape, molestation, and domestic violence. Nothing is further from the truth. Professing Christians who violate God’s Law should suffer punishment.