The other day, I quoted from Romans 13 a short passage regarding taxation and our responsibility thereto. Today, I came across an image which brought to mind another element of that passage:
Governments should be afraid of their people. But that hasn’t always been the case, nor should it be. A government which is afraid of its people is a government which can no longer rule, which will shirk its responsibilities of punishing the wicked the moment the wicked become a large enough group.
The Scriptures speak of men fearing the governments over them, and giving the only advice worth giving for living without fear of the government: obey your governors, and you will have no reason to fear them.
But blind obedience is foolish! Quite right. We’re not to obey the government if doing so causes us to disobey God, for it is better to obey God than man. But no other valid reason can be found to disobey the government.
We may not like the laws which are put in place over us, but if we are not required to disobey God in order to follow the laws, then we should honor the governing authorities by obeying them.
I realize this could potentially result in a situation which the natural man would abhor: high taxes, fewer freedoms, and so on. But for the spiritual man, obeying the Scriptures by honoring the governments of this world is — or at least ought to be — more than worth it.
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. 2Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. 3For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, 4for he is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God’s wrath on the wrongdoer. 5Therefore one must be in subjection, not only to avoid God’s wrath but also for the sake of conscience. Romans 13:1–5
What do you think?