The False Patriot movement in America today, posing as real Christians, completely ignores the significance of this passage. Let’s make a few Simple observations and see if they are correct in their assumption that ‘Christians’ have the Duty to participate in the overthrow of corrupt Governments.
The Passage says plainly: ‘Obey the Governing Authorities’ or ‘Higher Powers’ in the old KJV. (same translation) It says NOTHING about the character of Government. Whether it’s Corrupted or Nobel. Rome was Completely Corrupted to the Core and ruled nearly the entire known world at the time. In fact Nero was Emperor when Paul wrote this! Everyone knows that he was a mad man who burned Rome, blamed the Christians, murdered thousands of them and committed numerous crimes against humanity including murdering his own Mother. Compare that to Present day American leaders.
The fact remains, Rome was NOT a Free Republic with Rights Guaranteed to the Citizens. If you were Rich, well born, connected chances are you could own property, manage your own estate and live a fairly comfortable life. Provided you did not make yourself an enemy of anyone in position to do you harm. In other words: There was NO Constitution or Bill of Rights! Christianity was considered a threat to the Pagan religions of Rome and its followers were severely persecuted to death. There could not have been a worse situation for those who loved God and contended earnestly for His Truth. They were hunted down like animals, captured and made sport of in various ways as being fed to lions, burned, butchered, beaten, crucified and tortured to death.
If the present day Patriot movement is correct, WHERE is the evidence that any of the Apostles took part in a protest against the injustice of Rome? Do we see it in the book of Acts? Or spoken about anywhere in the New Testament Epistles? On the contrary Christians are told to live at Peace with all men, Obey the King, Pay their taxes submit themselves to the ordinance of man. (1Pet2:13-16) DOING THIS you could silence the naysayer who would have to persecute you for nothing. Maintaining a good testimony with the unbelievers was the important thing, not invoking them to anger by protesting their institutions. How are you going to Convert someone to your Religion if you’re calling them names and casting negative dispersions on them? Convicting someone of Sin, Righteousness and Judgment is all together different than arguing politics. One entails Preaching the True Gospel of Jesus, as the Apostles did. The other is trying to unite people in a common cause to depose of a corrupt Government.
Early Christian history also testifies of this attitude toward Government. The Ancient Christians did not take part in Military service, nor did they conspire to bring down the corrupt ‘higher powers’ over them! Many stories can be found of Roman Soldiers converting to Christ who suffered the pains of death for laying down their arms and refusing to fight. You cannot find any instance of early Christians taking part in the flag waving regalia of Rome or cheering for their conquering armies when they returned victorious from the battlefields. Although they did not take part in any of these things they also did not protest or complain about the conditions they lived in. It was merely a part of getting the Truth out. Persecution came with the territory, as the Lord told them. As they stood before the Kings and magistrates of their day, they did not dispute with them about political issues or object to their authority over them.
The ruling authorities were appointed by God and bore the sword on His behalf against ‘evil doers’. They were Commanded to live by the Law of Love, thereby fulfilling the law and making no provision for the lust of the flesh. Vengeance belonged to the Lord, He will repay all evil done in His Name! His followers are to Rest in His Righteous Judgment, knowing that they had escaped His Wrath through Repentance and Faith and Patiently endure doing good during their so-journo on earth.
Therefore HOW Could anything said in Romans13 mean ONLY legitimate Governing authorities are to be obeyed? Was Rome legitimate? Not by any standard of Freedom and Liberty for all! It was a harsh Dictatorship with a Puppet Senate. If any form of Government deserved to be overthrown it was indeed Rome. They endorsed slavery, brutality, all forms of sexual perversion, conquest of nations, mass killing and many forms of human oppression. On the other hand our Present Government, although corrupt and run by evil men, still allows freedom of Religion. Freedom of Speech, Press and the right to bare arms!
Certainly there is conspiracy afoot to usurp these rights, but that is common among men. Power corrupts. People compromised in ethics and dead to God will do anything to remain in power and rule over things.
We cannot expect them to have the best interest of their fellow man in mind. Unless they experience a radical change of heart in True Repentance their path will always lead toward evil and more evil. That will NEVER happen by getting in their face, calling them names and accusing them of their crimes. It will only provoke them to anger and finally to violence. Rather you can expose their Crimes against God, their SINS in His Name! Pull down the Strongholds of fallacies deceiving them into thinking they are doing God’s work. Show them ‘By Example’ that the Gospel of Christ Purifies the heart from the corrupting influence of Lust and Creates a New Man Crucified to the World, Dead to Sin and alive to God!
The Present Day Patriot movement (posing as Christians!) will never see that even if they could accomplish everything they believe in and Elect only Freedom loving, Constitutional Candidates, pledged to uphold the Bill of Rights, it wouldn’t make the slightest bit of difference in the overall condition of mankind. The people would still be in their sins and deceived by tens of thousands of false teachers promising them liberty while they remain addicted to their lusts! You can’t legislate morality. People are NOT going to suddenly become responsible citizens because the Governing authorities changed. The Moral cesspool in our Churches, Cities, Schools and elsewhere is NOT going away. Politics (no matter how ethical) CANNOT reform our society!
The ‘Lack of Knowledge’ by which people are perishing, is the LACK of GODLY BEHAVIOR! It is the Massive hypocrisy among millions of Professing Christians! The Patriot Movement are experts on world politics, history and conspiracy, but TOTALLY ignorant of the Doctrinal heresies Destroying the people! They operate 100% in the FLESH and cater only to the base emotions of the soul. Surly they have a FORM of Godliness but NO Power of a Godly Life! They can quote thousands of government documents and remember tons of facts and figures. They know the Constitution and Bill of Rights like the back of their hands. They can debate ideologies and uncover the lies. BUT Most of them Know NOTHING about the Word of God! Only what is based on some phony Doctrine that has them saved in their sins.
In their Minds they are free to pursue these things in the strength of their flesh lash out against them in righteous anger and use every weapon at their disposal to oppose, overthrow or excite others to action. Consequently rather than Debating the principles of Repentance and Faith Proven by Deeds and Commanding people everywhere to renounce their sins and turn to God, they try to convert them to their political mindset by ‘waking’ them up to the facts! WHERE is that in the New Testament??? HOW is that Turing them from Darkness to Light, from the Power of Satan to God? (Acts20:21, 26:18) Man can be wholly aware of every government conspiracy, shady dealing, secret operation and know their world agenda from top to bottom and remain ‘in the flesh’ Deceived and Under Strong Delusion. Believing they are ‘Imputed Righteous’, ‘Eternally Secure’, ‘Forgiven in advance’, and Born a Sinner!
The REAL War is Casting down these Lies that have Millions in Bondage to their sins! Contending for the Faith means Keeping it PURE, Preaching the Doctrine According to Godliness. (1Tim6:3) AND the Purpose of the Commandment! (1Tim1:5) The REAL Gospel will turn People from their Iniquity, NOT make them Workers of iniquity. (Matt7:21-23) Real Christians do not run around the streets bull horning their leaders and calling them ‘scumbags’! They DON’T Protest abortion while at the same time their Church members are practicing it! They DON’T accuse people of lies and hypocrisy while their own Churches are Preaching LIES!! And they NEVER ague for Biblical Principles to be established on society when they themselves DISOBEY GOD!
The Man of God is Commanded to pursue Righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, gentleness and self control. Fight the Good fight of Faith and Lay hold of eternal life! (1Tim6:11-12) NO ONE in the New Testament or early Church history equated battling the corrupt government with Obeying God. Nor did they try to find instances of Jesus, Paul, Peter or anyone in the Bible opposing Roman authority by TWISTING the things they said about Repenting and Obeying God. The Principalities and Powers they encountered where SPIRITUAL, not Carnal! YES, Satan’s kingdom is this world and is manifested in the Sway he holds over it. (1Jh5:19) But Christians Combat him with the WHOLE Armor of God, which is based on Truth and Righteousness! (Not making more excuses for your sin!)
Paul told the Brethren to Stand fast in the faith, be Brave and Strong! (1Cor16:13) The early Saints were Pacifists concerning war and violence, BUT they were NOT Sissies! They would Contend for Truth on Pain of Death and NEVER renounce Jesus. Their mission was to Cast Down the arguments and False teachings constantly creeping into the Church. (2Cor10:4-5) They were Warned over and over again that false teachers would rise up among themselves and bring destructive heresies, turning the Grace of God into a License for immorality! (2Pet2:2, 18) The FIGHT was for Truth, NOT getting their Candidate elected as Governor of Judea! Paul didn’t run for office in Rome, he PREACHED the GOSPEL!!!
He died (as did many others) Contending for the Faith, not exposing the Nero administration for its crimes against humanity. When he stood in the high courts of Rome before the ‘higher powers’ of the day, he respectfully told them the Truth about Jesus. He persuaded them to Repent and turn to the one and only Living God. Never once did he challenge their authority or claim it was invalid because corrupt. He obeyed the laws of the land up to the point they forbid him to Preach Jesus. THAT he could NOT Obey. Finally they executed him for converting people to Christ. (not changing their politics!)
Granted if a person was genuinely converted to Christ and then elected to high office he would likely be a decent and fair leader. But WHERE are these people? Will they be produced in our churches full of hypocrisy and false teaching? Never! And could a Real Christian ever run for high office and remain un-compromised in their faith? No early Saint attempted it for that very reason. Politics is a Dirty business full of compromise. Could anyone remain clean participating in it? Traditionally they Kill anyone who does get elected and refuses to go along with the agenda. That’s apart from God, imagine someone trying to remain loyal to God debating with them.
On top of all this you have the fallen, corrupted church pumping out the lie. Everyone is ‘Saved’ in their sins and can Never Stop sinning! Man is born a poor helpless sinner, unable to respond to God or do anything Right. He has to be Pronounced Righteous by Representation and have his sins transferred to Jesus! This happens by a Trusting in the MAGIC of Imputation! Nothing really changes inside the person, he remains Vile to the core. But now he’s a ‘Christian’ and has God on his Side, in approval of his actions. It’s the Perfect setup to go about with their chest out puffed up THINKING they are on the side of Truth.
So anything Goes, as we can see in all the present day movements under the guise of Christianity. And just as the Holy Apostle Said, ‘It Blasphemes the Way of Truth and brings about Swift Destruction!’ (2Pet2:3)