How Should Christians Protest?

Paul told the Ephesian church, “Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes” (Ephesians 6:10–11). The church in Ephesus stood out from almost every aspect of their pagan culture. Paul’s words to Ephesus should be a word to Christians in America as well. We have been angry, we have been worried, we have been discouraged—none of those things represent our faith well. It is time to protest, but we need to protest in ways that are both godly and effective.

I think I might have seen the news story that was a “final straw” of sorts. Target has announced that they will allow their employees and customers to use the restrooms they feel represent their gender choices, rather than the gender on their birth certificates. Additionally, they have announced that they will allow those same choices for their dressing rooms. It is time for Christians to “take our stand.”

We could print signs and picket Target, but the media would choose the angriest faces in the crowd to display on the news. The most intelligent, rational Christians would not be chosen for interviews, and the biblical explanations would not be the sound bites on the evening news. So, how do we “take our stand?” We vote with our dollars and sense. Christians have choices too. I will choose not to spend another dime at a Target store.

If you aren’t bothered by Target’s decision, picture your daughter or granddaughter entering a dressing room, with a man in the room next to her. A pedophile can dress as a woman and enter a dressing room freely . . . with a cell phone to document the encounters. The truth is, this whole “gender issue” debate has gone from confusing to ridiculous to dangerous in a very short amount of time. Christians can and should “take our stand.”

If Christians choose to spend their money at another store, Target will probably need to rethink their policy—within a year. Are Christians ready to spend a little more money, be inconvenienced, or do without something in order to express their opinions on cultural issues? Are we ready to “take our stand”?

We know why we should protest, but do we know how? Paul would like to help us, like he helped the Church in Ephesus. Here are the apostle’s main points from Ephesians 6:10–20:

— Our strength to stand is from the Lord. We are to be strong “in the Lord” and his power is mighty. We cannot stand apart from the Lord’s strength and guidance but when we do find strength in the Lord, it is limitless.

— Our struggle is not against flesh and blood. As my friend taught me to pray, “Paint him red, Lord.” Don’t think of Target or transgenders as our enemy—realize who is guiding their thinking and get angry at the real enemy.

— The next verse is crucial: “Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand” (6:13). We should not be surprised at the reports on the news and the direction we see the culture going. Paul said to be prepared to fight when not if the day of evil comes. Every generation and era has faced evil—of course ours will as well. Paul said to get suited up and stand our ground.

— Our armor: truth, righteousness, readiness, peace and faith. Our salvation is our ultimate protection. We can enter battles knowing that we have already won. Our armor is our protection, but our weapon is a double-edged Sword—the truth. Do you believe the standards, the methods, and the truth of Scripture? Do you really understand what your Bible says? If we carry a weapon, we have to know how to use it.

Paul concluded the passage asking the church to pray. He wanted the people to pray that their words would be authored by God’s Spirit. Then he asked the church to pray for him, that he would speak God’s word fearlessly so that people could hear the gospel. I would ask my readers to pray those same prayers. We fight spiritual battles with spiritual weapons. Prayer is the most important way to begin any protest. But prayer is not to be our only protest.

It is time for Christians to call on businesses, leaders, and even politicians to make their positions clear and hold them accountable. We need to know what our dollars are supporting. Our power is from God and is therefore “mighty.” Our influence is far greater than any of us realize. It is time to “suit up” and “stand up.” We don’t have to wave signs, shout in anger, or fight in the streets. We can allow God’s Holy Spirit to direct our words, our actions and our strategies.

Let’s protest prayerfully, with dollars and sense. God’s word is truth—we should take our stand, and be ready. Don’t just read this blog and agree. Drive past Target and agree. You might want to send Target’s investors an email and let them know you will respond to their decision with your dollars.

You and I live at a crucial time in our nation’s history. Truthfully, we are already too late to change the direction of the culture. The ship has sailed and too many of God’s people, myself included, have spent time arguing amongst ourselves about how to handle things, instead of taking firm, biblical stands. Our words are important—our actions will be the loudest message we offer. Our battle is not with flesh and blood. Our battle is not with any one retailer. We know the real enemy and we know how to fight him biblically. Will we have the courage and commitment to wear the spiritual armor and take our stand?

Do not be afraid and do not be dismayed. Tomorrow go out against them, and
the Lord will be with you. (2 Chronicles 20:17)

The American Family Association has set up a website so that Christians can register their choice to stop shopping at Target. Take a moment, if you wish, and register your choice. Feel free to forward this blog post to others you think would like to do the same.

Join us at and chime in on this week’s discussion question: What do you tell your children when they ask about transgendered people?