@projanen @daveburch @Krlamb1
Romans 13:1-7, ESV:
1 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.
1 Peter 2:13-18:
13 Be subject for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, whether it be to the emperor as supreme,
14 or to governors as sent by him to punish those who do evil and to praise those who do good.
15 For this is the will of God, that by doing good you should put to silence the ignorance of foolish people.
16 Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God.
17 Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the emperor.
18 Servants, be subject to your masters with all respect, not only to the good and gentle but also to the unjust
Remind them to be submissive to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good work,
21 So they asked him, “Teacher, we know that you speak and teach rightly, and show no partiality, but truly teach the way of God.
22 Is it lawful for us to give tribute to Caesar, or not?”
23 But he perceived their craftiness, and said to them,
24 “Show me a denarius. Whose likeness and inscription does it have?” They said, “Caesar’s.”
25 He said to them, “Then render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.”
So, a seeming consensus from the scriptures. Submit to the authorities. But what of @daveburch’s question, are there not exceptions?
I don’t know, are there? That is for those who want to make exceptions to one of God’s scriptural commands needs to determine. And they need to back it up beyond the slightest doubt of conscience, since they will be clearly at conflict with a command found in various parts of scripture. That backup is incumbent upon the people who wish to defend breaking it.
Brothers, be careful. Do not put yourself in the position of demanding that your wife respect your authority, and then turn around to treat your authorities flippantly, praising those who disobey them, and not giving a rigorous scriptural defense. Like the servant who was forgiven a debt and then turned on a dime and threw his fellow servant in jail. From your comments, it seems like it is obvious to you all that a man can disobey his God-instituted authority if he don’t like what it is doing! What an idea.
Should a slave not obey his master because he sees his master is in sin for sleeping around? Should a wife not obey her husband because she sees he is embezzling? Should a churchman not pay his tithe, and not submit to his elders because that elder board wronged someone in a divorce case? Should a child disobey his parents because his dad cheated a friend in a business deal, or will not stop drinking?
Wasn’t the late government of Rome full of every kind of abuse, going so far as to kill the Son of God? And yet Christ said, “Render to Caesar what is Caesar’s,” and Paul said “Honor the emperor.”
What even is authority if it can be evaluated by those under it, and given to them to decide whether or not to follow?
As far as exceptions go, there are a few clear places where you must obey God in resistance to earthy authorities. One of these is in Acts:
27 And when they had brought them, they set them before the council. And the high priest questioned them,
28 saying, “We strictly charged you not to teach in this name, yet here you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching, and you intend to bring this man’s blood upon us.”
29 But Peter and the apostles answered, "We must obey God rather than men. - Acts 5:27-29
Paul is also in and out of prison his whole life for the preaching of the gospel. So what is the ground of this exception? The reason for the exception is that these men were bound by the command of God to preach the gospel, and the command of man forbade it. God’s command should clearly win out.
But if not, be it known to you, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up." - Daniel 3:18
Again, Shadrach and his crew were under orders from God not to bow down, and orders from man to bow down. The command of God clearly wins.
We, on the other hand, are not in conflict of command. The government is commanding you to pay your taxes, and God commands you (without qualification of the type of government) to pay your taxes too! To disobey puts you at odds with the command of God and man.
If I am mistaken in this, please show me. But what does it mean of our generation that we so breezily discuss willful disobedience of our God-set authorities? If a husband embezzles, the guilt is not on his wife but himself. If she disobeys him, that guilt is on her. If a slave disobeys a master in response to his sin, the master’s sin is on his own head, and the slave’s disobedience is on his. If you disobey your government for its sin, the sin is on the head of that government, and your disobedience to it is on yours.