Monday, 20 August 2012

Romans 13 – The Appropriate Role of Government

As a former military (and government enforcer), I feel both qualified and compelled to write a blog post of this nature. I hope it will be well received among a wide range of readers. My intent is to point out what the role of government should be according to the Bible. Certainly, the U.S. Constitution does a fair job of defining an appropriate role, and its mandate of “limited government” is also reflected in the Bible.

I would invite you to read Romans 13 (verses 1 to 7 in particular). These seven verses pretty much describe what government should be, and how its citizens should relate to it.

The essence of these verses essentially state that governments are ordained by God, and are His intent to exist. Those of you who are anarchists will not believe or accept this fact. However, continue reading, because there is more to understand.

Romans 13 was NEVER meant to be a Chapter that orders all Christians to bow down and submit to all government requests or orders unconditionally! However, when governmental orders are legitimate and in alignment with God’s Will, then God does expect citizens to submit. Unfortunately in today’s world, the distinction between Godly and unGodly mandates has been significantly blurred! By that I mean the fact that governments (nearly everywhere) are taking on roles that the Bible never intended for it to assume responsibility for! Expensive international wars, massive growth of government, expensive welfare programs (designed to encourage dependency rather than to provide job skills), etc are just a small sample of the type of roles that go beyond what is biblical.

If we are to look to Romans 13, government has the following general rights – to take life, to enforce justice, to maintain law and order, and to levy taxes. As citizens, we are to submit to government authority within the limits ordained by God. HOWEVER, if the government goes beyond its God-ordained authority, then we must refuse and resist (in a polite manner if at all possible). The overarching responsibility of government is to punish evil-doers, and to ensure that justice is properly administered. In fact, Romans 12, states that regular citizens are to never seek revenge for wrongdoing. It is the government that is supposed to properly handle this function. Sadly, however, governments (in modern times) have been doing nearly the opposite of this function!

Given the above God-ordained rights, it appears that Government has a protective responsibility, a law enforcement responsibility, a judicial responsibility to run and maintain a court system, and a responsibility to collect taxes in order to fund these basic responsibilities. Given these very basic responsibilities, why then do we have all these other government agencies that extend so far outside of the biblical responsibilities stated above? We now have Food and Drug Administration bureaucrats who examine everything we eat, as well as a slew of other ‘three-letter acronym’ agencies that regulate nearly every other aspect of our lives! Could it be that government has expanded way beyond that which the Bible would have ever mandated? For certain, this has been the case, and libertarians are absolutely correct in their assertions of this fact.

Further to that, even the newer government agencies that do fall into a protective or law enforcement role are engaged in activities and functions that do NOT advance the security or protection of a state. This is due in part to the corruption that exists in those various agencies at all levels, as well as the fact that the New World Order controls the enforcers. The elitist controllers that do not serve God will certainly not use its enforcers to meet Godly ends! That should be common sense.

With all of the information above, and if each of you read your Bibles and pray to God, you will be able to discern what government roles are ordained by God and which ones are not. My intent is not to tell you how you should relate to government. It is merely to inform you of what is biblical and what is not. In no way am I advocating the limp-wristed liberal Christian posture that submits to tyranny unconditionally. On the other hand, I am not saying that government has no right to exist. That too would be a severe distortion of Scripture.

I encourage each and every one of you to think critically about what governments should do and what they should not do. Hopefully, my blog post has pointed you in the right direction. 

Update - August 20, 2013:

One thing I should have made clearer above is this: Government has a right to exist as long as it is performing "God-ordained" functions, that is functions which conform to the mandates of Scripture. Governments that steal from or harm the very people that they proclaim to serve and protect are not performing "God-ordained" functions. That which is not "God-ordained" is illegitimate. Pastor Chuck Baldwin has a book on Romans 13 which a large portion of it, I agree with. Yes, he is endorsed by Alex Jones, but I agree w/ a very large portion of his book. Those seeking answers on the Romans 13 issue should read his book.

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