“No Authority Except from God”:Paul and Anarchy

25 July 2008

A few weeks ago, I urged in my sermon that people spend some time with the Word each day.  I said that the Daily Office lectionary was how I did it.

And not long after I got this doozy:

Let every person be subject to the governing authorities; for there is no authority except from God, and those authorities that exist have been instituted by God. 2Therefore whoever resists authority resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgement. 3For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Do you wish to have no fear of the authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive its approval; 4for it is God’s servant for your good. But if you do what is wrong, you should be afraid, for the authority* does not bear the sword in vain! It is the servant of God to execute wrath on the wrongdoer. 5Therefore one must be subject, not only because of wrath but also because of conscience. 6For the same reason you also pay taxes, for the authorities are God’s servants, busy with this very thing. 7Pay to all what is due to them—taxes to whom taxes are due, revenue to whom revenue is due, respect to whom respect is due, honour to whom honour is due.

My recent thought has revolved around anarchism, and Paul seems to preclude it.

Thanks Word.

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2 Responses to ““No Authority Except from God”:Paul and Anarchy”


  1. Not really. Read

    http://www.hccentral.com/eller12/

    It’s also possible, of course, to assume Paul wasn’t speaking in an infallible way. But I think the above-linked book is a better argument.


  2. That’s the challenge right, discerning when Scriptures are and when they are not, when a Scriptural writer is and when he/she is not, writing infallibly.

    Another tangle for sitting with the Word.

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