The apostles Paul and Peter said we should obey our governments. But are their advises conditional, or do they apply to all kinds of authorities?
First and foremost. Followers of the Messiah should not indulge them selves with the affairs of the World. But devote them selves to the work for a kingdom that can not be seen. A kingdom that is surely not of this World. But when we are challenged by our governments, we need to respond to their requests and orders.
What to do?
Some very religious Christians believe that we should obey our governments almost without questioning their actions and orders. Like during the Covid-19 paranoia, when the gross majority of Church leaders closed the doors of their congregations. Many pastors closed the doors, claiming support from scriptures. In particular they quote the words of the apostles Peter and Paul.
Romans 13: 1-2
Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves.
1 Peter 2:13-15
Be willing to serve the people who have authority in this world. Do this for the Lord. Obey the king, the highest authority. And obey the leaders who are sent by the king. They are sent to punish those who do wrong and to praise those who do good. When you do good, you stop ignorant people from saying foolish things about you. This is what God wants.
My first objection is based on Peters own oposition to the order of the Judge, when telling Peter not to preach in the name of Jesus.
Peter and the apostles answered. «Its necessary to obey God rather than men».
My second objection is the fact that not all governments punish those who do wrong, but rather punish and kill whose who have done no wrong, and even servants of God. Like John the baptist. Would Peter have approved of the Holocaust? Were the leaders of Nazi Germany servants of God? If so, why did the Nazis loose the second World war?
My third objection is that several biblical heroes did not obey their authorises and governments. Like Rahab, who lied to the Caananites who came to arrest the spies. Or what about Hadassah (Esther) who resisted the Kings order to kill all the Jews in Persia? Shadrach, Meschach, and Abednego did not bow before the idol of the king of Babylon, but rather faced the fire. God him selves warned the magi, not to obey king Herod. Surely not a servant of the living God, conducting a massmurder of innocent children in and around Bethlehem in a bid to terminate the todler Messiah.
The advises of Paul and Peter can best be understood as a warning to the Jews not to rebell against the Romans. The only and supeme authority during that age. Roman rules and administration seems to be God given because of Jewish infighting and discord.
My best advice is to apply both faith and common sense. First: Keep away from politics and the affairs of the World. If you do not, you will sooner than later become part of double standards and hypocrisy. Next: Do always support what is good. In particular when the Government challenge you to obey their orders. Its wisdom to flow with the good tide. Third: Stand up for truth. Also at the risk of your life. This was how trustworthy people defeated a devil like Hitler. To claim that God of the Bible took pleasure in Hitlers ideology and governance, is to submit to the work of Satan. Many people commit these kinds of mortal mistakes, participating in and supporting pure evil. Some do so even in the name of «Jesus» and they perish. I have experienced that it is almost impossible to correct their theologically based errors.
Published by Ivar