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  • Writer's picturesonnyholmes

Romans 13: 1 and me.

Here's a Bible text that causes some confusion and trepidation in those who interpret it. Being subject to governmental authority raises many questions in a multi-layered government system like ours. At the time the Apostle Paul wrote his epistle to the Romans it was an oppressive, evil empire. He told them to be submissive to it.

Of course, Romans 13: 1-7 isn't about government. No where does the Apostle define good or bad government. The text of these verses is about God's faithfulness and our trust in him. Paul affirms that every existent ruling system functions because God has permitted it. Catch the drift of the text---

Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God.2 Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment.3 For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval,4 for he is God's servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God's wrath on the wrongdoer.5 Therefore one must be in subjection, not only to avoid God's wrath but also for the sake of conscience.6 For because of this you also pay taxes, for the authorities are ministers of God, attending to this very thing.7 Pay to all what is owed to them: taxes to whom taxes are owed, revenue to whom revenue is owed, respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed.

Romans 13: 1-7, ESV

My problem in doing the right thing are the many human preferences that guide me. You know, being a conservative, evangelical Christian, a Republican to boot, means that I'm somewhat out of sorts when the electorate chooses the other aisle for national leadership. Dr. Anthony Fauci is the chief medical advisor to our current President, Mr. Biden. I don't know him or much about him. But he is a national spokesman and medical leader right now. Harriet and I decided to take the Covid-19 vaccines because Dr. Fauci, and the other leading medical officials of our nation recommended it. Based on Romans 13: 1-7, they are in their positions of leadership because God allowed it. For us, taking the vaccine was trusting God in the belief that these many government authorities are functioning for the common good.

You certainly may interpret these verses differently. But, for us, taking the vaccine was our response to God's ordering of things in 2021.

Tomorrow, let's talk about the common good. Blessings all.

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