Sunday, August 01, 2010

For Rulers Hold No Terror ...

From the Table of Duties, "Of Civil Government"
For rulers hold no terror for those who do right,
but for those who do wrong.
Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority?
Then do what is right, and he will commend you.

(Romans 13)

But what Joe the Plumber? The folks in power sure dragged him through the mud. What about the Resistance in Europe during WWII? They had to hide their activities because the rulers were terrifying. Same for Christians in Soviet Russia. And then there's Jesus Himself. The rulers took an innocent man and put Him to death, even though the evidence was clear that He had done nothing wrong.

Our ever-burgeoning mass of bureaucratic codes and laws means that everybody is guilty of breaking some laws, even if we don't realize we're doing it. So we have reason to fear the authorities: Who knows what we may have transgressed?? And then you hear about some of those lawsuits that the judges allow. Kinda scary.

But ...
In Matthew 10, Jesus says not to "fear those who can kill the body but cannot kill the soul, but rather fear Him who can harm both soul and body in hell." And Psalm 91 tells us that we will not be terrified if we have made the Lord our refuge.

Ah ha! Romans 13 isn't a promise that law-abiding citizens will never face trouble from their own rulers. It is instead a general principle that you won't get into trouble if you're being a good guy. And more importantly, there is the sure-fire guarantee that the Lord will work for good even when temporal matters don't work out right and even when things are supremely unfair.


  1. Interesting. A Catholic man, who attends St. John along with his wife, (they both go to Catholic church on Sat.)recently was fired from his job as a professor at the U 0f I. An anonymous student, a friend of an anonymous student in Ken's class, was offended because he (the professor) taught in a class on Catholicism and natural law, that the Catholic church says homosexuality is wrong, against natural law. And he was fired. Guess it's reached Fox News and I don't know where else. So a Catholic, teaching a Catholic class about the stand of the Catholic church is fired for what he said because he offended an anonymous person. He was offered his job back a couple days ago. Has a few days to decide if he will. The situation has certainly stirred up the community.

  2. I saw the news article. I didn't realize the man attended St John. I am so glad he got his job back.