Much has been said in the past couple of days about Attorney General Jeff Session’s comments referencing the Apostle Paul’s words in Romans 13. Paul gives instructions in this text about obeying the government because they are given their authority by God and worthy of respect.
This is most certainly true. Before you write it off as being ridiculous, go and learn more about the Roman government that is in power as Paul is writing this. You’ll discover that he’s living under an emperor who is violently anti-Christian and this is not a reference to simply Christian governments.
However, while the command for respecting our government is true, I’m not sure if that is the most helpful place to go in Scripture when talking about the way that we treat other people.
If Christians are going to invoke scripture when discussing policy and especially policies related to the treatment of other human beings, might we also consider:
Having laws are important. God has instituted government and given it authority for good order and keeping the peace. However, as Christians we are called to love our neighbor as much as we love ourselves and to care for those who we find around us. We really have no excuse not to do this.
My name is Tom. I'm fascinated by the ways that people, ideas, current events and theology interact with each other.