He cites some examples from history and fiction, where people have found themselves in this situation:
* Joshua sent out two spies to check out the city of Jericho. When the security police came to find them, Rahab had not only hidden them but denied they were anywhere about (Joshua 2). Rahab followed her moral conscience here, rather than following the 'law of the land'
* The Nazis throughout occupied Europe had a very specific policy of finding every Jewish man, woman and child, and transhipping them to places such as Auschwitz; yet many citizens of those countries felt morally obliged to protect many Jewish people, and, even though they put themselves in grave danger, they lied to authorities about their knowledge of the whereabouts of Jews.
* In one 'Law and Order' fictional television program, a young lawyer found himself caught between giving convicting evidence against his client or protecting the client attorney privilege, which was in his view, a greater good.
In real everyday life, we (or people we know) also have conflicting feelings about what is common sense or morally acceptable, and what is 'obeying the law'.
How many times have any of us felt pressured to go above the speed limit as traffic backs up behind us with a clear impression they would pass if they could. Do you speed up?
A Christian minister friend of Mark Tronson's, who lives in Pakistan, is holding a sports evangelism outreach event, which he is perfectly free to do under the law. However at the same time, if he breaks national religious laws that ban engaging in Christian evangelism, he runs the risk of being severely punished.
M V Tronson asks how much 'sin' is involved if we choose not to obey the 'authorities' in such conflicting situations.
The Bible is very specific that 'Sin' is rebellion against God. This involves motives that are evil, a wicked heart that plans evil, and actions that aim to harm and destroy. The bible also condemns the 'sin of omission', failing to do what you know is right.
How do we begin to grapple with such moral and philosophical ideas?
"The Gospel's proclamation to 'follow Jesus' as an act of faith gives us an insight into the divine example of Jesus' actions" explains Mark Tronson. "If we centre on His examples and teachings, we can follow what He did in situations of moral conflict."
Taking up your Cross and following Jesus opens up a complete new view of life. It sees all of life in light of love and sacrifice for others. You can learn from the New Testament how this view can guide all your moral choices.
In his writings, Mark Tronson regularly uses the phrase, 'he/she has became a follower of Jesus', to describe someone's new allegiance, their new world view.
That allegiance will always take each person who follows Jesus Christ in the direction of love, sacrifice, righteousness and justice regardless of how morally conflicting a situation may be.
This is also the post Christmas story. The wise men did not go back to King Herod to reveal where the Messiah baby was, rather they went home another way. The consequence of that 'moral' decision was that Herod in an attempt to ensure his throne and dynasty was secure, slaughtered every baby boy under two years of age.
The Salvation story, the New Covenant, starts and finishes with the shedding of blood as did God's Old Covenant with his chosen people.