How many of us have heard those in the mainstream religious community, examining the purpose of government, say, “Government was divinely ordained or instituted by God for the purpose of punishing evildoers?” The obvious derivative to this mainstream conclusion is that we should obey, honor, and give reverence to ‘the powers that be’ because they are God’s ministers or servants doing the work of God. Those making this proclamation rely heavily on Romans 13:1-7 in arriving at what we believe to be an erroneous conclusion.
It is a great disservice to the reader to discuss the purpose of government, from a biblical standpoint, without first examining the nature of government, from a biblical standpoint. We also believe there to be no greater commentary on the bible than the bible itself and after examining the nature of government, from a biblical standpoint, the reader may want to revisit Romans 13 and determine if commonly held premises about the purpose of government still hold water. We contend that the mainstream religious institution’s bucket has a pretty large hole in it juxtaposed to what God says about the nature of government.
The most compelling biblical portrayal of the nature of civil government is found in 1st Samuel 8. God explains to Samuel what he is to tell the people who are begging for a king to rule over them. God’s description of civil government is not a flattering one nor does it portray civil government as being worthy of our honor, respect, or fidelity. The desire for civil government is described in simple terms as being rebellion towards God.
The account in 1st Samuel 8 contradicts the notion that government was ordained by God, at least in the classical sense the words ‘ordained’ and ‘government’ are commonly used and referenced today. There is certainly nothing divine about human government even though religious authoritarians would have you believe otherwise. And, even though we, as Americans, don’t live under a monarchy, God’s description of the nature of this form of government certainly seems to rhyme with much of what we’ve seen in world history and our own country’s history pertaining to the ongoing tyranny of civil or human government.
What miraculous transformation occurred in the nature of man, or the nature of government, between the old and new testaments that would justify the common rendering religious authoritarians have extrapolated from Romans 13:1-7? Did not God unequivocally state, in 1st Samuel 8, that a desire to be ruled by man is an outright rejection of Him? Would God institute or ordain something He disparaged in such a way, as depicted in 1st Samuel 8? We don’t think so. Neither do we accept the statist spin many religious institutions place on Romans 13:1-7. The mainstream religious institution’s rendering of Romans 13:1-7 would, by necessary inference, imply either that God lied to Samuel or that the Apostle Paul lied in his letter to the Romans. Even worse, is when their extrapolations make it appear that the Apostle Paul contradicted himself in Ephesians 6:11-12. Why would it be necessary to put on the whole armor of God to protect us from evil world rulers if they were ordained by God to be nicey-nicey? Does God ordain evil? If we were placed in the uncomfortable position of having to choose between the veracity of the Apostle Paul’s translated and seemingly contradictory words as opposed to the veracity and logic of God’s translated words, we would naturally be inclined to choose the latter over the former. God characterizes civil government, in 1st Samuel 8, as being evil and characterizes those seeking to be ruled by it as rebellious. We wholeheartedly agree.
Why are religious institutions promoting the fallacy that civil government is wonderful and good, in the shadow of God’s declaration to the contrary, and in spite of the civil government tyranny readily apparent to anyone willing to look out the window and observe what is going on in the world, at the moment, and what has transpired throughout history? Why do religious institutions continue to promote rebellion against God? We think we’ve found the answer to this most troubling question. If you’ve struggled with the meaning of Romans 13:1-7 and are a bit skeptical and weary of mainstream religious institutions who dutifully and exuberantly pull out their pom-poms and take you through the statist cheer every time this passage is discussed, you may be interested in reading our recently released book The END TIMES Hoax and the Hijacking of Our Liberty.