“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. Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation. For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same,” Romans 13:1-3.
“Reason and experience forbid us to expect public morality in the absence of religious principal.” U.S. President George Washington.
“We have not government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other,” U.S. President John Adams.
I wonder if some of us have the notion that we are to blindly submit to a government without questioning it.
I don’t believe that God ever intended for its citizens to blindly give in to a government that is tyrannical, and abuses its power against its people. We have only to look to the Bill of Rights to pursue this further.
Our founding Fathers took matters into their own hands as they chose to break free from British rule.
The overthrow of British rule by America’s founding fathers goes against the philosophy of many perhaps today, who teach that Christians ought to unquestioningly submit to government.
And yet many enjoy freedoms which were secured only through the bloodshed inflicted by rebellion and revolt against the abuse and tyranny of the higher powers.
Freedom is not necessarily free.
Romans 13:1-3 in proper context reads:
“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. Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation. For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same.”
But… “For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil.”
The portion of the biblical text in bold shows us the importance of what to follow and what not to follow in a government.
In other words, when a government is bent on corruption and the tendencies towards promoting evil, greed, and everything that is contrary to the truth, then people, are not obliged to follow it.
The Apostle Paul deliberately broke the law. Acts 18:13, “Saying, This fellow persuadeth men to worship God contrary to the law.”
We ought to obey God rather than men. Sometimes Christians must rebel against man in order to obey God. To teach otherwise, is to actually go against what the founding fathers had instructed us to do.
Daniel prayed to God even when he was told not to, (Daniel 6:10). Meshach, Shadrach, and Abed-nego were commanded to bow to Nebuchadnezzar’s huge golden statue, but they chose rather to break the king’s law by refusing to bow (Daniel 3:18).
Romans 13:1-3 commands believers to obey the “higher powers” as long as the rulers are a terror to evil works, and not to good.
God is the higher power and law than any government can ever be. Acts 5:29 plainly states… “We ought to obey God rather than men.”
But… the time is coming when we will lose many of the freedoms that we now have taken for granted for so long.
I wonder how much longer that Lady Liberty will still be standing in the harbor as she lifts her torch of freedom to all.
There have been uprisings and revolts in the past that have been successful as its citizens have stood up against the tyranny of a corrupt ruling class. Many were slaughtered as they went to the guillotine during the French Revolution, and yet freedom was still sought out.
The 60’s showed us a time of revolt as many protested the Vietnam War, the shootings at Kent State, and of course Watergate. Those who marched to Selma with Martin Luther King walked for the rights of all, and yet there is more division now than there ever was.
The prejudice against blacks and other minorities has not improved but has only widened.
Freedom is not something that we should take for granted. Many have fought in wars for our freedom, and yet our very freedoms are slowly slipping away.
But Christ has set us free, and our freedom that we have in Him, is not actually tied to this world, but it is a freedom of the Spirit.
I am not proposing a march of any kind here, nor of an assembling together of people of a like mind to revolt.
For there are always consequences to these things, and those who rise-up against the rulers of this age are usually met with a reciprocal action.
But it is in the heart of man to pursue freedom and justice, and it is also in his heart to not be ruled by anyone. And yet even as we live in this world, we not “of this world.”
“Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty,” 2 Corinthians 3:17.
~ Stephen Hanson
Stephen Hanson of In His Truth Ministries came to the LORD is a special way in 1975 and has prophesied regularly since. In these end-time birthing pangs we are reminded that judgment must first begin with the household of God. Will we be prepared and ready?