“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.” Romans 13:1
Not a very “convenient” verse for those bent on rioting or looting. There’s a place for protesting but an even bigger place for voting in a modern society, but bear in mind that when Paul wrote these words, the government was led by an emperor who was considered “divine” and was far removed from moral or rational limitations—he did what he pleased and no one could challenge his decisions. And yet, never did Paul or even Jesus suggest that God’s people should riot, pillage or destroy. The example of Jesus Christ, the apostles, and the early church leaders gives no suggestion that it’s okay to go even a little crazy and destroy things, even if your emperor (Cesar) is insane, immoral, brutal and made his horse into a senator. (Caligula did this!). We are nonetheless to be “subject” to governing authorities.
I appreciate Martin Luther King’s demonstrations of peaceful protests, and I understand that the struggles of Christians in China, Russia, and Muslim-governed nations is incredibly hard. But God’s children are not ordained or instructed to destroy other people’s property because they are angry. There are examples where we refuse to obey our leaders, as with Daniel, Shadrach, Meschack and Abednego. In the New Testament Peter refused to obey the religious leaders of his day when they demanded that they stop preaching the gospel. But in each case these men did not lead open revolts or act in violence. They passively refused to obey the laws if it contradicted God’s law.
But right now we’re experiencing great malice directed at businesses and innocent citizens because of some very bad law enforcement officers and government officials/leaders. But why are we condoning some very bad criminals that are attacking and looting businesses owned by people that worked their whole lives to have those businesses?
The people that I know that have their own businesses sacrificed vacations, holidays, days off and a “normal life” to attaint the success they now enjoy. They saved, did without some of life’s pleasures and built something they could call their own. For someone to take away what they created out of spite or jealousy should enrage all of us!
What concerns me, as a Christian, first, and as a U.S. citizen, is that it appears the media and some politicians are complicit in the terror being committed by these criminals. It’s apparent that they believe that if someone works hard and is successful, it’s okay for others to attack them and take away what they worked hard to earn and establish. All of us, particularly the Christian protestors, are obliged to obey the laws and respect our leaders—-regardless if the leader is Obama, Trump, Biden or Clinton. It’s not a matter of liking or even agreeing with those that lead us, but respecting the authority that God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. (And no, those are not the words of a White Supremacist or a racist or an ultra-fundamental warmonger——-those were the words of Saint Paul.)