In the wake of Election 2012, lots of people have posted the reminder from Romans 13 to “be subject to the governing authorities.” This is good. We should pray for our newly re-elected President. God knows he’ll need it. But I would like to submit that we should keep in mind the whole of Scripture as we pray and move forward (so to speak) with our lives under the 2nd Obama term.
Not only should we pray and submit, but we should remember the distinct and sweeping theme throughout the Bible of defying authority.
Consider with me the following folks:
- Moses brought down a Pharaoh.
- Rahab harbored spies.
- Shadrach, Meshach & Abednego refused to bow to the king’s idols.
- Daniel was thrown into a den of lions.
- Esther disobeyed the law to save her people.
- The Prophets routinely got in the faces of their kings.
- The Magi disobeyed Herod and returned to their own country.
- Joseph ignored the law and hid his family in Egypt.
- John the Baptist was beheaded because he refused to shut up.
- Peter and John were commanded to stop preaching but refused.
- Paul (who wrote Romans 13) spent plenty of time in prison for the same reason.
- Then there’s Jesus, the ultimate Rebel.
My point here is that we should interpret Scripture in light of Scripture. Romans 13 does not say we should be a holy doormat. Biblical defiance is sometimes required.