“Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad.” (Romans 13:1-3a)
As I read the words of Paul in Romans 13, I wonder if he ever envisioned a world such as ours? Violence and crime goes unchecked, good is bad, evil is redefined, sin is excused or ignored. And in many cases, sin is legalized and promoted as the inalienable right of free individuals, guaranteed and protected by our own government. And Christians are vilified and condemned for we oppose immorality and debauchery and have the effrontery to proclaim the gospel of salvation by grace through faith in Jesus who is the way, the truth, and the life.
To be sure, Paul note wrote these words about the Roman government which was far worse than our own government. Rome was noted for its corruption, slavery, cruelty, idolatry, immorality, and violence on a par with Stalin’s Russia. Yet Paul calls believers to obey the government, to respect the law. Christians have an obligation to respect government and obey the laws for governments are in power by the providence of God. They derive their authority from Him. Thus, obedience to them is obedience to God. Failure to obey the just laws of government shows contempt for God’s authority.
Governments are ministers of God to punish evil doers. They are supposed to protect the rights, property and lives of private citizens from anarchy, violence, robbery, assault and murder. As long as they do so, we must obey all laws, except those that are sinful, and opposed to the Kingdom of God. In fact we must disobey them and speak out against all such ungodliness. We cannot support laws that promote abortion, sexual immorality, or sex changes as these violate the Word of God. We cannot support the use of alternate pronouns or sexual identities even as the governments and other authorities mandate it. Daniel and his companions disobeyed the law of Babylon when it contradicted the law of God. So did Peter and Paul and a host of saints who were martyred rather than worship or serve false Gods. These all went to their deaths willingly knowing they were in the Lord’s hands. So we stand with them and proclaim that we must obey God rather than man. We respect and love those who think differently by warning them of the danger they are in and pointing them to the mercy and forgiveness of God in Christ Jesus alone.