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Romans 13 and revolution

Romans 13 and revolution

America in this desperate hour does not need bloody, anarchic chaos from left or right, but a constitutional, biblically grounded revolution.

Chaos kills the patient it claims to heal.

America’s founders, steeped in biblical knowledge and principles, and fresh from the chaos of the Revolutionary War, sought revolution that would be carried out with order rather than chaotic rampage like we have seen in 2020. (read John Eidsmoe’s Christianity and the Constitution and/or Democracy in America, by Alexis DE Tocqueville, and/or Wilfred M. McClay’s Land of Hope, and/or Revival, Revolution, Rebirth, co-authored by former House Majority Leader Tom Delay and myself).

When it comes to revolution there are two extremes among Christians. One embraces the view that revolution by any means is acceptable. The other extreme insists that Romans 13 forbids any resistance, even of a tyrannical government.

Paul, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, opens with these words: “Every person is to be in subjection to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God.”

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Does this mean the authors of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution were going against the Word of God? Does this mean that people have no biblically sanctioned means of bringing down despotic regimes?

The key to understanding and applying Romans 13 lies in an important Greek word that appears there, exousia. This term is usually translated as “authority”, in contrast to dunamis (“power”) or kratos (“might,” or “strength”)

Power and might can only function properly when under proper authority. Therefore, the American Founders, in an age touched by the Great Awakening, and the thundering voices of prophetic preachers, placed healthy restraints in the founding documents. God’s transcendent authority is above all, as made clear in the Preamble to the Declaration of Independence:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundations on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. (Italics added)

Therefore, “powers” can only be exercised under proper authority, flowing from God to the people, and through them to the government they choose, all “under God.” The People are the agents of God’s authority. That means they have a responsibility to know the heart and mind of God through relationship with Him. “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people,” said John Adams. “It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”

This is a major shift from the elitist monarchical-oligarchical-plutocratic governing styles that had dominated six thousand years of ...