Romans 13:1-7 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: All governing authority has been ordained or instituted by God.
2: Therefore, a person who resists or opposes governing authorities experiences two things: one is pangs of conscience that he is really opposing God, and the other is the punishment that the authorities mete out to those who oppose them.
Now we know that in the Old Testament as well as the New Testament there were times when God’s people DID disobey, or resist the ruling authorities and did so in obedience to God.
15 Then the king of Egypt spoke to the Hebrew midwives, of whom the name of one was Shiphrah and the name of the other Puah; 16 and he said, “When you do the duties of a midwife for the Hebrew women and see them on the birthstools, if it is a son, then you shall kill him; but if it is a daughter, then she shall live.” 17 But the midwives feared God, and did not do as the king of Egypt commanded them, but saved the male children alive.
So the Hebrew midwives disobeyed the civil authorities for God’s sake, and God was pleased.
Two examples of civil disobedience from the book of Daniel. King Nebuchadnezzar issued a decree that all who heard the music playing must fall down and worship the golden image. But Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego refused to obey the edict. So they were thrown into the fiery furnace, and God miraculously saved them and thus put his stamp of approval on their civil disobedience.
16 Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego answered and said to the king, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter. 17 If that is the case, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and He will deliver us from your hand, O king. 18 But if not, let it be known to you, O king, that we do not serve your gods, nor will we worship the gold image which you have set up.” 19 Then Nebuchadnezzar was full of fury, and the expression on his face changed toward Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego. He spoke and commanded that they heat the furnace seven times more than it was usually heated. 20 And he commanded certain mighty men of valor who were in his army to bind Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego, and cast them into the burning fiery furnace. 21 Then these men were bound in their coats, their trousers, their turbans, and their other garments, and were cast into the midst of the burning fiery furnace. 22 Therefore, because the king’s command was a]”>[a]urgent, and the furnace exceedingly hot, the flame of the fire killed those men who took up Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego. 23 And these three men, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego, fell down bound into the midst of the burning fiery furnace.24 Then King Nebuchadnezzar was astonished; and he rose in haste and spoke, saying to his b]”>[b]counselors, “Did we not cast three men bound into the midst of the fire?”They answered and said to the king, “True, O king.” 25 “Look!” he answered, “I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire; and they are not hurt, and the form of the fourth is like thec]”>[c]Son of God.” 26 Then Nebuchadnezzar went near the d]”>[d]mouth of the burning fiery furnace and spoke, saying, “Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego, servants of the Most High God, come out, and come here.” Then Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego came from the midst of the fire.
And Daniel disobeyed King Darius by praying to YHWH despite an edict to NOT pray to any other than the King himself. It is interesting to note, the King himself did not want to punish Daniel and praised God for saving Daniel from death.
3 Then this Daniel distinguished himself above the governors and satraps because an excellent spirit was in him; the king gave thought to setting him over the whole realm. 4 So the governors and satraps sought to find some charge against Daniel concerning the kingdom; but they could find no charge or fault, because he was faithful; nor was there any error or fault found in him. 5 Then these men said, “We shall not find any charge against this Daniel unless we find it against him concerning the law of his God.” 6 So these governors and satraps thronged before the king, and said thus to him: “King Darius, live forever! 7 All the governors of the kingdom, the administrators, and satraps, the counselors, and advisors have consulted together to establish a royal statute and to make a firm decree, that whoever petitions any god or man for thirty days, except you, O king, shall be cast into the den of lions. 8 Now, O king, establish the decree and sign the writing, so that it cannot be changed, according to the law of the Medes and Persians, which ]does not alter.” 9 Therefore King Darius signed the written decree. 10 Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went home. And in his upper room, with his windows open toward Jerusalem, he knelt down on his knees three times that day, and prayed and gave thanks before his God, as was his custom since early days. 11 Then these men assembled and found Daniel praying and making supplication before his God. 12 And they went before the king, and spoke concerning the king’s decree: “Have you not signed a decree that every man who petitions any god or man within thirty days, except you, O king, shall be cast into the den of lions?” The king answered and said, “The thing is true, according to the law of the Medes and Persians, which does not alter.” 13 So they answered and said before the king, “That Daniel, who is one of the captives from Judah, does not show due regard for you, O king, or for the decree that you have signed, but makes his petition three times a day.” 14 And the king, when he heard these words, was greatly displeased with himself, and set his heart on Daniel to deliver him; and he labored till the going down of the sun to deliver him. 15 Then these men approached the king, and said to the king, “Know, O king, that it is the law of the Medes and Persians that no decree or statute which the king establishes may be changed.”
16 So the king gave the command, and they brought Daniel and cast him into the den of lions. But the king spoke, saying to Daniel, “Your God, whom you serve continually, He will deliver you.” 17 Then a stone was brought and laid on the mouth of the den, and the king sealed it with his own signet ring and with the signets of his lords, that the purpose concerning Daniel might not be changed.
18 Now the king went to his palace and spent the night fasting, and no musicians were brought before him. Also, his sleep went from him. 19 Then the king arose very early in the morning and went in haste to the den of lions. 20 And when he came to the den, he cried out with a lamenting voice to Daniel. The king spoke, saying to Daniel, “Daniel, servant of the living God, has your God, whom you serve continually, been able to deliver you from the lions?” 21 Then Daniel said to the king, “O king, live forever! 22 My God sent His angel and shut the lions’ mouths so that they have not hurt me because I was found innocent before Him; and also, O king, I have done no wrong before you.” 23 Now the king was exceedingly glad for him and commanded that they should take Daniel up out of the den. So Daniel was taken up out of the den, and no injury whatever was found on him, because he believed in his God.
One last example of God’s approval of civil disobedience from the New Testament is that of Peter and John; Peter and John were arrested by the Jewish authorities and commanded not to teach in the name of Jesus, they answered in Acts 4:19, “Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you rather than to God, you must judge; for we cannot but speak of what we have seen and heard.” So they went on teaching in public and were arrested again. The high priest said to them in Acts 5:28, “‘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.’ But Peter and the apostles answered, ‘We must obey God rather than men.”‘
Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 2:8, “None of the rulers of this age understood the wisdom of God; for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.” Paul was keenly aware that the death of Jesus was the ultimate breach of justice—that the governing authorities did not praise the good and punish the wrong. They did just the opposite. And he knew from his own missionary journeys that the ruling authorities could be a menace to his own ministry Acts 16:16.
So what are we to take away from Paul’s command in Romans to obey earthly authority when the Bible elsewhere teaches that we are to obey GOD above all before obeying man? Is Paul’s basic premise wrong? Are all governing authorities instituted by God? I would say that God is sovereign over both the just and the unjust rulers of the world according to the scriptures.
Daniel says in 2:21 that it is God who “removes kings and sets up kings,” and in 4:32, “The Most High rules the kingdom of men and gives it to whom he will.” So even wicked kings have their position and authority only from God. The same thing is taught in the Gospel of John. Pilate, by whose authority Jesus was finally crucified, was a governing authority set and ordained by God Acts 2:23; 4:27, 28. In John 19:10 Pilate says to Jesus, “‘Do you not know that I have authority to release you and authority to crucify you?’ Jesus answered, ‘You would have no authority over me unless it had been given to you from above.'” Therefore, if Pilate, Nebuchadnezzar, and Darius were set in their places and given authority by God, even though they did much evil, then we have no reason to deny Paul’s assertion that “there is no authority except from God” Romans 13:1.
Now back to our original question, should Christians resist or disrespect the administration of Donald J. Trump based on the belief he is not fit to be the President because of his past and or present sin? I think the question we should first answer based on our readings is has Donald J. Trump as president ordered any one of us to disobey God’s Word or commands? There may be some who object to their tax money being used for things God would not be pleased with, that are sinful such as abortion. So be careful here, are you ALSO prepared to NOT pay those taxes to the governing body based on your convictions about how they are spent and risk the wrath of the said governing body? Ask yourself if you had the same conviction about paying or not paying those taxes BEFORE Donald J. Trump was elected when someone else sat in the Oval Office.
Donald J. Trump was elected per our Constitution. He was legally sworn in as POTUS. Furthermore, he has not commanded anyone to break God’s Law. Therefore it is my opinion that to disrespect the OFFICE of President of the United States based on his occupying of it is wrong for Christians to do.
Last word; 1 Timothy 2:1-4 I exhort, therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; 2 For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. 3 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; 4 Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.