SUBMITTING TO AUTHORITY
By Bishop David Kendall – June 2018
Over the weekend, the United States Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, cited the Apostle Paul as a form of support for our government’s draconian “no tolerance” policy that separates children from their parents should the parents illegally enter the U.S. Aside from the unjust practice of punishing innocent children for alleged crimes of their parents, Romans 13 has been woefully misappropriated to justify what is arguably the opposite of Paul’s intent in this celebrated chapter. That is my focus in what follows.
[Since this will be longer than a more typical post here are the conclusions which I draw. First, Romans 13 cannot be used legitimately to support any particular governmental policy or program, at any time. Second, nor should it be read as a command for Jesus-followers to support the government regardless of its policies. Third, it is a reminder that government, as such, is good but not absolute; and that leaders are accountable and will answer to God, if to no one else. And, fourth, followers of Jesus have a mission to accomplish with or without the assistance of government, and they are the people called and equipped to demonstrate the good that all governments seek as they give themselves to love. Read on to see why I make such conclusions.]
Before observing what the Apostle Paul says in this highly celebrated text on the Christian’s duty to governing authorities,