Must a Christian be obedient to the government under which he lives?

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

A passage that should be considered is Romans 13: 1-6

2 Therefore whoever resists authority has opposed the ordinance of God; and they who have opposed will receive condemnation upon themselves stablished by God.

3 For rulers are not a cause of fear for good behavior, but for evil. Do you want to have no fear of authority? Do what is good and you will have praise from the same;

4 for it is a minister of God to you for good. But if you do what is evil, be afraid; for it does not bear the sword for nothing; for it is a minister of God, an avenger who brings wrath on the one who practices evil.

5 Therefore it is necessary to be in subjection, not only because of wrath, but also for conscience' sake.

6 For because of this you also pay taxes, for rulers are servants of God, devoting themselves to this very thing.

I believe that the Scriptures clearly teach in numerous passages (i.e. Daniel chapter four, and the passage cited above) that God rules in the affairs of men. He does so not by miracle, but by what we may refer to as "providence." I believe that in Romans it is clear that God expects the Christian to be obedient to the Government he lives under, so long as it is a Government that encourages good behavior (verse 3) and not a Government that encourages evil (i.e. Iran).

If I were living in Iran, as a Christian, I would feel free to disobey the Government, because it is a evil, corrupt Government that encourages evil deeds. God does not ever desire us to live in contradiction to our Christian convictions. Therefore the good Governments established in this world are established by God, and are his "ministers" (servants) to carry out justice on earth.

Acts 4:19here is an example in the book of Acts which I think will help:

"But Peter and John answered and said to them, "Whether it is right in the sight of God to give heed to you rather than to God, you be the judge…"

We must always be ready to obey God in spite of the consequences!

"Scriptures taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE,
(C) Copyright The Lockman Foundation
1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995
Used by permission."

Comments are closed.