Updated: Feb 26
Photo by Aaron Burden
Romans 13:1-7 New International Version Submission to Governing Authorities 13 Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established.The authorities that exist have been established by God.2 Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. 3 For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and you will be commended. 4 For the one in authority is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for rulers do not bear the sword for no reason. They are God’s servants, agents of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer. 5 Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also as a matter of conscience. 6 This is also why you pay taxes, for the authorities are God’s servants, who give their full time to governing. 7 Give to everyone what you owe them: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor.
People have mistakenly linked democracy and political freedom to Christianity. That’s why many contemporary evangelicals believe the American Revolution was completely justified, both politically and scripturally. They follow the arguments of the Declaration of Independence, which declares that life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness are Divinely endowed rights. . . . But such a position is contrary to the clear teachings and commands of Romans 13:1-7. So the United States was actually born out of a violation of New Testament principles, and any blessings God has bestowed on America have come in spite of that disobedience by the Founding Fathers. 1
John McArthur, Pastor of Grace Community Church
The Colonists’ act of rebellion flies in the face of [Romans 13:1,2]. Did they overlook this verse? No, these were not men ignorant of Scripture. In fact, they used Scripture to support their cause in the most devious of ways. The deception that prevailed during this period of history was immense. God and Scripture was the vehicle of mobilization that unified the cause, gave it credence, and allowed the Deist leaders at the top to move the masses toward rebellion. Scripture was the Forefathers’ most useful tool of propaganda.
Nero was the Caesar to whom Paul appealed when he was unjustly accused by the Jews and falsely imprisoned (cf. Acts 25:11). The apostle was taken to Rome and kept under guard for two years (Acts 28:30), before Nero finally heard his case.
It is incorrect to say: “[I]t is unknown whether Nero took any personal part in the Apostle’s trial” (Cross, 945). We know this because an angel had explicitly informed Paul: “you must stand before Caesar” (Acts 27:24).
The great apostle won his appeal (as chronological data in First Timothy, Titus, and Second Timothy reveal), only to be later condemned by the malevolent ruler.
According to the historian Eusebius, Nero beheaded Paul and had Peter crucified (II.25)Quote from Wayne Jackson article "Nero Caesar and the Christian Faith"
I am pretty sure, almost 100%, that the the Apostle Paul would not have supported the American Revolution. In fact, he would have prayed for the British king, "For the one in authority is God's servant for your good."
The man who witnessed his Lord to the Gentiles under Nero and eventually was beheaded on the emperors orders, said to "submit to the authorities". The American Revolution would not have had the support of this great man.
Yet, before any of you avid readers begin to surmise I am a closet Antifa supporter, let me interrupt you by saying I love living in this blessed American Republic. The home of Washington, Lincoln and Jonathan Edwards. The land encompassing the Grand Canyon, Niagara Falls and Horton Creek Trail.
As McArthur said, God has bestowed blessings on America. I pray daily for our Lord to keep this Republic. Benjamin Franklin adds when asked by a Mrs. Powel of Philadelphia, 'What do we have, a republic or a monarchy?' Franklin is said to have replied, 'A republic, if you can keep it.' My job, my responsibility to your children is to provide them with the knowledge of why our republic is so important.
And how we accomplish this is by teaching history in two four year cycles. The emphasis of the first year is ancient world history, second covers the middle ages up to modern. Modern history is the third year with American history. The fourth year involves instruction in economics and American government.
And boring is not how we approach these courses. There is a base text book, but from there the students use videos, biographies, historical games, memorization, speech recordings and visits by historians. This all begins in the fourth grade and continues through twelfth.
And yes, we very much include church history side-by-side with world and American history. God's hand is in all. The question is not how God can allow all the pain and suffering in the world. The correct question is, "Why is the suffering, mayhem and poverty not much worse than it is?" He is where our hope lies.
The role of a Christian school, no matter the location, Mexico or Germany, Guatemala or Algeria, is to proclaim God's word in supporting parents in the raising of their children, to educate their students in the skills needed to best provide for themselves and their future families, and how to live in their community. Whether it is Maricopa, America or London, England, "Give to everyone what you owe them: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor".
The grace of the Lord Jesus be with you.
First Corinthians 16:23