Romans 13 and Submission to Your Government
I've heard and seen so very many Christians, I suppose well meaning, tell us that Romans 13 demands that we submit to our government. It, of course, does say something like this. Although, I would point out that the Bible says a lot of the Christian and their government, and it is most certainly not as simple as, "Do whatever your government tells you."
In this short post, I simply want to point out something that I think many of these well-meaning folks fail to grasp. They don't bother to ask the most fundamental question, "What IS my government?" It most countries today and throughout history, this question has been more simple. The government is the King. The government is the Senate, or whatever. However, in the USA, our government, that is, our ruling authority (technically, Rom 13:1 is not "government," but your "authority"), is not any person, nor any body of people. It is a document. Our governing authority is our Constitution. This was made VERY clear by the Founders.
When the lawmakers pass laws, yes, we have a certain obligation to hold ourselves in subjection to those laws, but ONLY in as much as they are not repugnant to the Constitution. If a law is passed that goes against the Constitution, then literally to obey it is to the very opposite thing that people think they are doing. Let's say that a law is passed to confiscate all guns, and a Christian willingly gives up their guns in order to obey Romans 13. What this sad pitiful person does not understand is that they are literally doing the opposite of submitting to their authority. They are actually being culpable in overthrowing their governing authority, which is exactly the opposite of what Romans 13 tells you to do.
Our Founders understood that only the rule of law would be an objective and transcendent authority. Humans in power become easily corrupted and their whims and fancies always go towards hurting the people and helping themselves. If you want to obey Romans 13, and you live in the USA, understand what your ruling authority is. Then learn to obey what it says. And if someone rises up to overthrow it, understand that to support that person is to do the exact opposite of what God tells you through the Apostle in Romans 13.