This question was posed to me in a discussion at church over the past weekend. As would be expected, the hands came few and far between; all saying pretty much the same thing: “Yes, I think it’s okay because [insert lackadaisical reasoning here]”. Only when a few people decided to change things up a bit, by voicing their contrary opinions, did the conversation really begin to heat up.
The first person stated that the word strike, in itself, is violent, and the actions inherently reflect said title. The other person said much the same thing, and they both agreed that Christians should steer clear from those kind of scenarios. During the discussion, the speaker seemed to side with the contrary opinion so I did my best to introduce a little reason into the argument. All that came out was a very lax argument that reflected the pro-strike agenda, punctuated with an odd description of striking (“A beautiful form of expression”). My analytical mind had fallen asleep on me.
The next scenario that the speaker introduced was clearly designed to put things into perspective but it changed little. He asked if it would be proper for the congregation to peacefully protest leadership by sitting outside during the service. I didn’t see a problem with it and there was enough grumbling amongst the rest of them for him to notice that there was no consensus.
“Let me put it to you like this; do you know that God has allowed these people to be above you so who are we to change this?”
This wasn’t taken very well and hands immediately went up. He picked out a few that had different arguments but similar motives. One said that it was our Constitutional right; the other said that if striking was beneficial to the layman then it would seem unusual for Christians to stand aside.
The speaker then went on to quote scripture and tell us that Jesus had given people a solution to deal with such problems. He stated that if one had a problem with a fellow member then one would approach said member and voice their opinions. If that didn’t work then one should bring another member to try reasoning with said member. If that didn’t work then one should bring another member and eventually the entire church before them. If that still didn’t work then you should all consider him an outsider/nonbeliever and then start the entire process again.
My hand went up immediately.
He saw my hand and ignored it for the remainder of the discussion until time ran out. Then he looked to me and asked me to close the session of with a prayer. I was rather frustrated by that but followed instruction anyway. I guess my awkward smile made him believe that all was well.
The reason my hand was up was because my analytical brain had been woken up by the sound of a logical paradox. In my head at least, the process that he described sounded eerily similar to a strike. Look, all semantics aside, a group of people going to voice their opinions to a certain body or individual is exactly what he described and that pretty much sums up what a strike is.
This was only my initial objection. Upon further inspection it can be said that if God allowed people to be above us then he also allows for those people to be held to account. If everything that happens can be said to be divinely sanctioned then surely strikes should fall under that bracket. The mere fact that we’ve seen successful strikes, coups, and revolutions, tells us that objection to authority is okay. We could go further down the rabbit hole and deeper into the foundations of Christianity (e.g. the story of Moses) but I think my point has been made.
So can Christians strike? Sure they can but I claim no authority to dictate whether they should or not. I am just stating that the reasoning which was used to condemn striking (in this discussion, at least) was flawed and in actuality, it condoned it. You can make up your own minds about that one.