‘Are the Powers That Be Really Ordained by God?’ (2015)

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Nero… who murdered Christians

There are always Christians who insist Romans 13:1 means that whoever happens to be in power at the moment, even if it’s a bloodthirsty monster who murdered his way to the top, has to be honored and obeyed–because God put him there.

Are the Powers That Be Really Ordained by God?

But Romans 13 goes on to describe what it is that God “ordains” the civil power to do. So when that power rewards evildoers and makes itself a terror to the innocent–sound familiar? or don’t you live in a Democrat city?–and actively makes war on God’s word and on God’s people… it’s a righteous thing to oppose that power. As the various Judges did, and David, and Our Lord Jesus Christ Himself.

Ah! But Jesus didn’t rebel against the power, did He?

No, because He came here as a sacrifice. But when He comes again, watch out.

5 comments on “‘Are the Powers That Be Really Ordained by God?’ (2015)

  1. If we have ever read the prophets in the Tanakh, we know what God thinks about sinful leaders, and what He does to them. To think we have to go along with every evil person in power is nonsense.

  2. As a starting point, it’s good to remember that this is a fallen world. Nothing works the way it would if mankind had not been given to sin. We don’t really know the initial state of life when mankind was first created. It is my personal opinion that things were much simpler then, and that the survival was not a struggle in any sense. Our original parents had everything they needed in order to survive, provided naturally.

    So they didn’t need a complex form of government, etc. The civil responsibilities that governments have today would likely never had been needed. Simply stated, the earth was blessed and mankind was blessed.
    The need for a more complex system, came about because of sin and the removal of God’s blessing. In that sense, civil authorities are there because we need to be organized in order to succeed in a fallen world, but that doesn’t mean that some godless despot was personally appointed by God.

    I’ve seen a variation of the same reasoning used to justify the misdeeds of some religious leaders, stating that God wanted them in that position and our refusal to submit is tantamount to rebelling against God. I’ll take a sack full of that and use it to make my lawn more lush. 🙂

  3. As in the days of Samuel’s ministry, Israel asked for a king so they could be like the other nations and groups around them. What a stupid disaster that was. However, God told Samuel to give them what they asked for, and they got Saul. We see what a disaster that was. God even warned them ahead of time what having a king would be like. He would take, take, take, which he did.
    Many times, God gives us what we ask for as a way of showing us our errors and then allowing us to suffer the consequences as a means of His discipline and a means of making sure we see our error and repent, returning to Him. Now, the only intelligent thing we could do is return to God and His instructions, repentance and looking to Him, not man to govern. Mankind has proven that we are incapable of governing ourselves.

  4. I sure wish Paul would have worded Romans 13 differently because in many ways it has hindered the growth of the kingdom of God on the earth. When the U.S. Supreme Court rules that the Founding Fathers were for abortion being acceptable practice, as Christians we do not agree with that – but then we neither bomb abortion clinics or assassinate abortionists. We are to call out our leaders when they are sinning like the prophets of old did with their leaders.

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