Today in the United States and in the American church, there are a lot of reasons for the church to speak truth to power like the apostles in Acts 5. This prophetic role is essential. We are allegiant to Jesus and his Way is our law, even if that sets us at odds with the laws of the nations in which we find ourselves.
Luke, however, masterfully juxtaposes the apostles prophetic stance with their solution-oriented administration of the cultural conflict and unjust distribution of resources in the fledgling church. Luke teaches us something important by telling these two stories back-to-back. The church is to be both prophet and wonk! In so doing, the church embodies the alternative it seeks to see characterize the broader society.