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. - Romans 13:1
Romans is a letter from Paul, approximately A.D. 57, to the believers in Rome in which he presents both why and how the gospel is followed. Romans 13 is Paul telling the believers how to be good Christian citizens. This notion of 13:1 from Paul should be easy to follow then. To be a good citizen, I will do whatever my leaders command because they have been selected by God.
This “easy” way of thinking would, in my belief, turn us away from being good Christian citizens. Following with such mindlessness would allow us to turn into competitive followers that would only live to prove to an authority his/her worthiness, thinking God would also approve to the “yes man” state.
This following with blinders on can lead to and be led by dictatorships. Dictatorships that can have harsh consequences in which our world history has shown. In the book of Samuel, God even rejects the notion of having a King in fear a King would be worshiped over God himself allowing a king to perform a list of harsh realities to the people. The blinder-type following of people to a King can lead to the very opposite of what God wants us to do, which is Love our neighbor.
Fast forward 1700 years from the time Paul sat down to write his letter to the Romans; Thomas Jefferson sits down to write a letter to the British Crown. The letter is The Declaration of Independence. In summary, the declaration states that we are all created equal by our “Creator” with our rights of Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness. Our governments will be instituted among men getting their power from the consent of the people in which they shall govern. Thus, the same people can take away and abolish the same power given. The blinders are off.
Thomas Jefferson had attended churches of various denominations, but one thing was consistent; he believed in God. When he writes the Declaration it is the readers assumption that the “Creator” of rights is God. After declaring our rights given by our Creator, the founding fathers turn around and write that the same Creator will not govern us.
The Bill of Rights in the Constitution is later written including Article 3 stating “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;” Jefferson and James Madison feared that a state taxation going to a one religion body would intrude upon the created given rights of the citizens to support their own religious beliefs. However, the state could not band religion all together because the founders believed in God and believed in the moral compass of the gospel and Love that will guide the citizens to govern the country.
I am both a Christion and Patriot and love it. Paul’s letter is not telling me to blindly follow what leaders tell me to do, however it asks me to trust such leaders. I also live in a country in which I have the moral responsibility to both act under God’s wishes with Love and have the right to question and remove my leaders that I believe are not. After all, Paul did write “... and those that exist have been instituted by God”. We are God’s people, all of us. Those that have been asked to be leaders, have been asked by us, thus asked by God. Love and Law, they can work together.