Submit to government? Bash the government?

us_constitution-hammer

So, the question came up on a set of Facebook pages today about submitting to government vs. bashing them all the time.  As we all know, one way to get lots of internet popularity is through bashing and when you do it in a comical / cartoon setting, then you get even more “likes” for your page!  But, but, but – should we bash our government?  Even worse, should we resist / disobey?  Here’s how I answered.   Most of the other answers were non-biblical, emotional, empty worldly chatter!

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Submit – yes.  yes.  yes.  Just as Jesus and all the disciples submitted.  Remembering that they lived in a time of an absolute dictator that could take their lives at any time, torture them, etc. – and often did.  Ask John the Baptist – he died a humiliating / unfair death at the hands of the “government”!  Jesus didn’t save him from that!  Ask Paul about all his beatings (and he accepted them gladly – Col 1:24)!  Ask Jesus – Rome beat Him and put Him on that cross!  And, with all that (even Nero burning Christians at the stake at the time 1 Peter was written) – go read the NT and see how much it *doesn’t* say about rebelling against government or even changing it (it says nothing of the sort)!  Instead, Peter writes to submit to EVERY human institution (1 Peter 2:13-17) and submit to unfair/evil Masters (bosses today) in 1 Peter 2:18-20!  Paul writes to submit to government (Rom 13:1-5) saying that it IS God-ordained and has the power of the sword (death)!  So, God ordained President Obama!  Paul even says to pray for them (1 Tim 2:1-4)!  Yes, you refuse to sin when *compelled* to by a government, but God may allow you to suffer at the evil hands of that government!  You can also flee a government like Jesus’ family did in Matt 2:16-23.   BUT, mostly study Rom 13:1-5 and 1 Tim 2:1-4 and consider your witness to the unsaved world.  All of the above indicates that we are exactly what Scripture says we are – aliens and strangers here.  Our purpose is to be witnesses of Jesus Christ and not make an issue out of a world that is not our true home.  If you go around bashing government, then first of all, you’re wasting time that could be spent knowing/proclaiming Christ crucified among the saints (1 Cor 2:1-2)!  Just think, you could be like Paul – chained to a Roman guard – living a life that solely proclaimed Christ Jesus and furthering the gospel (Phil 1:12-20)!