- Parent Category: FAQs
- Category: Questions about Christian Life
- Published on Thursday, 19 November 2009 09:48
Primarily, believers are to obey and be subject to government at every level (Romans 13:1; Titus 3:1). Although some Roman officials were immoral, corrupt, unjust, and idolatrous, believers paid taxes and tariffs, and feared and honored officials (Romans 13:7; 1 Peter 2:13, 14, 17). By paying the temple tax and advocating "rendering to Caesar" (Matthew 17:27; 22:21), the Lord exemplified this. The revisionist view of "Jesus the political subversive" is without biblical support.
Occasionally obedience to God and to government conflict, requiring us "to obey God rather than men" (Acts 5:29). The Lord and His followers encountered this "wrongful governance" through injustice to themselves and others (slavery). Their resistance was passive, not reforming the government, but rather personally obeying God. Active resistance is disobedience to God.
Governments protect and provide services to their community, benefits in which believers share. Paul accepted this protection (Acts 23:17) and also used his citizenship to further the gospel (Acts 16:37; 21:39; 22:24; 25:11).
Some believers work for the government, as did Erastus (Romans 16:23), the city treasurer (NASB). They have two limitations: consistency with the government’s mandate (serving the community, Romans 13:4) and Christian morality (executing righteous policy). Reforming or leading the government seems inconsistent with subjection to the government.