Ro 1 (HCSB) Everyone must submit to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except from God, and those that exist are instituted by God.
If governments are given AUTHORITY from God and are instituted by God, then how is it possible to SEPARATE GOD FROM THE GOVERNMENT?
It is the disregard for God’s laws and authority that is the driving force behind all SEPARATION OF CHURCH AND STATE talk.
Even if government was able to silence all opposing voices it would still have to face the final authority and the grantor of the government’s authority, God himself.
2 So then, the one who resists the authority is opposing God’s command, and those who oppose it will bring judgment on themselves.
This can be taken to mean that governments are not to be challenged or opposed, but you must read this in light of the previous verse. Because government is an idea established by GOD for civil order and to punish the wicked, it should be acknowledged as such. Disregarding God’s authority over our actions, (governance) is disregarding God. Therefore in order for a government to be legitimate it must acknowledge God’s final authority.
The saying goes that men will get the government they deserve, and this can be seen throughout the history of God’s people Israel. When they forgot who their Lord was they would find themselves governed by tyrants. It is forgetting who is really in charge that renders a people subjects to tyranny. Governments are to be subject to God’s rule, citizens are then to be submissive to the governments as God’s ministers. Separate God from the government and you have the illegitimate rule of man over man.
3 For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Do you want to be unafraid of the authority? Do what is good, and you will have its approval.
This is how it is supposed to work. Laws are to be written to punish bad conduct not to regulate and restrict good conduct. If you go about your business in an ethical and morally upright fashion you should have nothing to fear from government. However it would seem that more often than not our current government is making lawbreakers of us all. To think that installing a light-bulb that does not meet government standards makes you a law-breaker is absurd. Yet that is exactly what we face today.
4 For government is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, because it does not carry the sword for no reason. For government is God’s servant, an avenger that brings wrath on the one who does wrong. Romans 13:1-4
Again the emphasis is on bad behavior. There is a legitimate purpose for government to regulate BAD BEHAVIOR. This is determined by God’s moral standard and not some arbitrary rule by some power-hungry man.
Our founders knew this and as such set up for us a government by rule of law which placed everyone on equal footing. All where to be held to the same standard. None was to be raised above the law nor given permission to get around the rule of law. The Constitution of the United States is the supreme law of the land.
But since there is no longer any fear of God in the eyes of the lawmakers, they have no problem passing onerous regulations and burdensome laws that punish law-abiding citizens. The purpose of which are to subject all but the chosen to the tyranny of the law makers. They do not wish to be subject to any law let alone God’s law but they want all the rest of us to be their subjects.
Along for the journey