Romans 13:1 states, "Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God."
These are difficult verses when they are compared and contrasted against the following realities:
Jeremiah spoke against authorities of his day (Jeremiah 1:10, 5:30-31). Was he in violation of Romans 13:1?
The three Hebrew children and Daniel disobeyed the king. Daniel 3 and Daniel 6. Were they in violation of Romans 13:1?
The disciples disobeyed authority (Acts 4:19-20). Were they in violation of Romans 13:1?
Jesus was very disrespectful towards spiritual leaders of his day (Matthew 23:13f). Was he in violation of Romans 13:1?
The Anti-Christ government of the Book of Revelation demands all take the mark of the beast. Christians are to refuse to obey. If they do disobey government, will they be in violation of Romans 13:1?
America was born out of rebellion against King George III. Were they in violation of Romans 13:1?
When authorities demand we violate Christians principles, who should we obey?
For decades we prosecuted Nazi's who followed the orders of Hitler. We called them "war-criminals." Were they right to obey Hitler and were we wrong to prosecute them for their actions?
In America, our laws are founded upon the Constitution, not upon a king or dictator. When a want-to-be dictator violates the law of our land (the Constitution) who do we obey, the want-to-be dictator or the Constitution?
When laws are passed that violate our Constitution, do we honor the law in violation of our Constitution? For example, if a law was passed by your State (or Obama by executive order) that no one could own a gun, would you turn in your gun or keep your gun on the basis of your 2nd Amendment rights?
Should the following quote be applauded or ridiculed? "If a law is unjust, a man is not only right to disobey it, he is obligated to do so." Thomas Jefferson.
These are good questions. These are tough questions. However, these are valid questions. Only when we have answered each of these questions with a degree of confidence that is based on biblical principles can we rightly grasp or intellectually speak about Romans 13:1; otherwise, it is just guess-work at best and babble at the worst.
Rev. Joda Collins
I make no claim that my views are shared by anyone else.