Romans 13:1 Let every person be subject to the governing authorities; for there is no authority except from God, and those authorities that exist have been instituted by God. 2 Therefore whoever resists authority resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. 3 For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Do you wish to have no fear of the authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive its approval; 4 for it is God’s servant for your good. But if you do what is wrong, you should be afraid, for the authority does not bear the sword in vain! It is the servant of God to execute wrath on the wrongdoer. 5 Therefore one must be subject, not only because of wrath but also because of conscience. 6 For the same reason you also pay taxes, for the authorities are God’s servants, busy with this very thing. 7 Pay to all what is due them—taxes to whom taxes are due, revenue to whom revenue is due, respect to whom respect is due, honor to whom honor is due.
I love much of what Paul writes in the New Testament, but he whiffs on this topic – in my opinion. There have been some terrible “governing authorities” over the last 2,000 years; murderous, sadistic, violent rulers who reflected nothing of the character or ways of God. The only way this makes sense is if Paul is referring to a particular place and time (1st century Roman empire) and not making a universal statement about governing authorities. Though I do not see any such qualifying language in this paragraph.
Lord Jesus, give us grace to submit when appropriate. And resist when appropriate. Amen.
One thought on “Submission and resistance…”
Whiffs is an understatement. Think about his own life. First he persecuted Christians. Was that because God put those Jews in charge? Later he became the greatest Apostle – and that WAS because of God’s’ intervention. Man/Women are sinners. All governments have flaws. Even David was human and did stupid things.
When I read passages from the bible I always try to remind myself if it is God/Jesus speaking in the text, or if is man. When it is man, it is easy for me to discount.