Is rioting a sin?

Question
Is rioting a sin?
Answer
A riot is a violent public disturbance. According to Braha:

A riot is a form of civil disorder commonly characterized by a group lashing out in a violent public disturbance against authority, property, or people. Riots typically involve theft, vandalism, and destruction of property, public or private. The property targeted varies depending on the riot and the inclinations of those involved. Targets can include shops, cars, restaurants, state-owned institutions, and religious buildings. [1]

The United States has seen their share of riots (Tulsa race riot of 1921; Long Hot Summer of 1967, which consisted of 159 riots; Rodney King Riots in LA, etc.). England has had a number of riots too (Red Lion Square disorders; 2011 England riots; the Day of Rage, etc.). There are Gasolinazo Protests in Mexico, Rinkeby riots in Sweden, Dhaka, Bangladesh Transport Workers Riots, the 2017 French Riots, and even the 2017 G-20 summit Hamburg, Germany riots. In history, there have been literally 10s of 1000s of riots throughout the world.

Riots are sinful in nature. They are a form of lawlessness (1 John 3:4). The Bible records many riots (Acts 17:5-9; 19:23-41; 21:35; 2 Cor 6:5). The religious leaders of Jesus' time even stirred up the crowd (Matt 27:20; Mark 15:11). Uncontrolled anger (Eph 4:26) and mob directed violence (Gen 19:4-11; Luke 4:28-30) and property destruction are all sin (Rom 13:12-13).

[1] Braha, D. (2012). "Global Civil Unrest: Contagion, Self-Organization, and Prediction."

Related Topics:

Violent Resistance
Is Murder ever Justified?

Answer by Dr. Joseph R. Nally, Jr.

Dr. Joseph R. Nally, Jr., D.D., M.Div. is the Theological Editor at Third Millennium Ministries (IIIM).