KOI, a co-blogger of mine at American Creation, a K-12 educator, and a moderate evangelical, challenged Dr. Frazer to this and Gregg rose to the occasion. I thought what Gregg gave me demanded more than just one post, where I should separate it into sections. But, since it reads well as one long argument, I decided to reproduce it that way. The argument is about whether rebelling against governing authorities is EVER consistent with Romans 13 in particular and the Bible in general. Here it is:
RESPONSE TO KOI:
Let me preface my response to the King of Ireland with a few remarks to the general audience. First, as far as I can tell, the message of Romans 13 (one way or the other) was not at all important to the leaders of the American Revolution – they never discussed it or even referenced it.
Second, it was VERY important to many of the common people whose support and participation were necessary to make the Revolution successful. In particular, in New England -- the birthplace and hotbed of the Revolution – congregants in the overwhelmingly Calvinist churches had been taught for 150 years that rebellion/revolution/resistance to authority was wrong and sinful. This is what made Mayhew’s work so important and made him so prominent – he provided a hurdle over this primary stumbling block in the way of recruitment for the Revolutionary cause.
Third, by the time of the Revolution, many ministers in those New England churches – who had been trained in seminaries teaching Enlightenment rationalism and who had been heavily influenced by Locke – had politicized the pulpit and turned it into a platform for liberal democratic thought.
So, interpretation and application of Romans 13 mattered not at all to the leaders in a theoretical sense – but it mattered a great deal in a practical sense. The churches became the greatest recruiting offices for the Revolutionary forces in New England, in particular. If Mayhew and West had not come up with their creative interpretation of Romans 13 to overturn the meaning understood for 1600 years, the Revolution might have failed for lack of supporters.
Now, to respond to the King of Ireland:
With all due respect, King, I would submit – and will try to demonstrate – that while you answered questions, you did not answer the questions that I asked. Rather, you re-framed them to suit your purposes and to make them more convenient to answer from your position. Likewise, while you responded fairly effectively to certain arguments, they were straw man arguments – not arguments that I actually made.
According to Romans 13:1, all governing authorities – those which exist – get their authority from God. Jesus affirms this in John 19:11. We are all to submit to those in authority over us – not to all authorities, but to all those who have authority where we are. So, although its authority comes from God, I have no obligation to submit to the Chinese government’s authority unless I’m in China. Then I’m in their sphere of authority and I must submit. So, regarding the ubiquitous Aztec question: if Monte is attacking, but hasn’t established control, then you submit to the tribal leader – as the one with authority in your sphere. If Monte has conquered and established control, then he is the supreme authority and you must submit to him. If there is a conflict between higher and lower magistrates, then I Peter 2:11 seems to indicate that you should submit to the higher authority.
The difficult question is what to do during time of transition between an authority going out of existence and one coming into control of a region. In that circumstance, a Christian would have Christian liberty to decide – after much study and prayer – what God would have him do. As soon as the new regime is instituted, he must submit to it, however. No, Monte is not an authority just because he claims it; he is an authority if he exerts or wields authority according to the system by which the society is organized – in reality, not according to a particular group’s desires or wishes or preferences.
You say that Locke is right and that consent is the key to legitimate authority and that man “should only consent if it secures him the greatest amount of liberty.” On what basis do you make that claim? – certainly not Romans 13, which says nothing about consent or liberty. You might rightly make that claim philosophically, but not biblically.
I find it intriguing that you say on the one hand that not all those who “claim” authority are legitimate authorities, but then you suggest that nations of people who “claim” sovereignty must be, in fact, sovereign. I’ve agreed with you that not all who claim authority have authority – likewise, however, not all who claim sovereignty have sovereignty, either.
You then say that your “issue” with me is that I “assume judgment due to some perceived evil of the conquered people.” Here’s one of the straw man arguments you attribute to me that I’ve never made: I do not assume judgment as the reason that a people is attacked or conquered. Scripture is quite clear that, in a fallen world, war is the norm and not necessarily indicative of special judgment by God. What I have said is that we all – me included – are worthy of judgment by God and that every nation commits evil and is worthy of judgment. So, if a people are conquered, they are worthy of judgment, but it need not be special judgment; it may simply be God’s plan that one nation rises and another falls without it being a special case of judgment. You keep talking about assuming judgment, but I don’t do it – you do.
Regarding my question whether you question the legitimacy of the governments of the United States, Germany, and Japan: I did not ask you whether a Navajo should question the legitimacy of the U.S. government or how you would advise such a person. I asked you whether you question it. I wasn’t interested in a theoretical or philosophical response, but a real, practical, personal response – do you refuse to pledge allegiance because you don’t think the American government is legitimate? Are you involved in organized resistance against the illegitimate U.S. government? Do you refuse to pay taxes? Do you think these three governments are illegitimate because they were established by those with the “bigger guns?”
The fact that you could not answer the question without re-framing it to better suit your position indicates that you do, in fact, recognize the legitimacy of the U.S. government. If you don’t resist the U.S. government and if you do, in practice and in reality, accept its legitimacy (and that of the German & Japanese governments), then you agree with me that being established by the “bigger guns” does not necessarily make a regime illegitimate.
You ask me on what I base my view that the fact that authorities emerge proves their legitimacy. It’s very simple: Romans 13:1 says that “those which exist are established by God” – a universal and clear statement of fact which I accept as fact. I accept that God knows more about what’s legitimate than do I and I take His Word for it.
Straw man alert: You ask why I would assume that it’s “God’s will for the U.S. to use “bigger guns” to rape a people of their culture and amputate their spirit.” Very simply: I don’t make such an assumption. I never assume what God’s will is. I’ve never said such a thing was God’s will. What I have said is that it is God’s plan – and I assume that because the Bible teaches very clearly that God has a plan for nations and whatever happens is part of that plan. God’s will is not always done – because he allows sinful men to act on their evil nature. But God’s plan cannot be thwarted (Isaiah 14:26-27; Jeremiah 27:5-7; and numerous other passages) and He has a plan for history and the rise and fall of nations. You don’t like that fact, but I can’t help it – I didn’t write it, God did.
You accuse me (again) of “disdain for the ‘pagan’ Navajo that has no interest in God.” I have said numerous times – and I don’t know how to say it any clearer – that we are all (me included) deserving of judgment and none of us (me included) seeks for God, according to Romans 3. I have no more disdain for the Navajo than I do for myself – it’s not a matter of disdain, it is a matter of recognizing the nature of man.
You say “Just because something happens does not mean God intended it to be that way.” Here’s where we just fundamentally disagree. I’m wondering: a) who you know who is stronger than God and can thwart His plan and b) why you’d be interested in believing in a God Who doesn’t know everything and is not all-powerful.
Perhaps the most common straw man you’ve built against me is the notion that I support or advocate “Divine Right of Kings.” You continually talk about it as if I’d ever expressed support for such a notion – which I have not. It makes a comfortable re-framing of my position – but it doesn’t touch my actual position. To put it as clearly as I know how: I support/advocate “Divine Right of Everyone in Authority.” The authority needn’t be a king – it could be a president, a legislature, a state legislature, a governor, a mayor, a city councilman, a police officer, an employer, a church elder, a parent, yes, even an Aztec tribal leader! I’ve expressed support for the divine legitimacy of the American government, of Pilate, of the current German & Japanese governments, of Cortes, and the tribal leader – none of whom are kings or headed by kings. Your simplistic depiction of my position is designed, no doubt, to elicit unthinking support because the concept of Divine Right of Kings is universally assailed in American circles. But it is not my position.
Regarding your comparison between the Saul/David situation and the Othniel situation and your conclusion that it is as “simple” as God saying He wouldn’t listen to Israel when they cried out for deliverance from Saul: if these were the only two passages in Scripture, that “simple” explanation might fly as representative of the Old Testament record. But they’re not the only passages and uprooting them from the context of the rest of the Old Testament record can lead to faulty views such as this. For example, there are plenty of tyrants in the history of Israel after Saul who are not removed despite pleas from the people. If it’s as “simple” as you’ve made it, God should have interceded on behalf of all of the others. Also, God does not only recognize kings of Israel (His people) who’ve gone through a special anointing ceremony to be His “anointed.” Romans 13 says that all rulers are “ministers of God” and “servants of God.” And God refers to pagan civil rulers as His “servants,” His “shepherds,” and His “anointed” (see e.g. Jeremiah 25:9; 27:6; 43:10; Isaiah 44:28; 45:1). So, what applied to David re Saul applies to all civil rulers AS FAR AS TAKING OUR OWN INITIATIVE IS CONCERNED. GOD may remove a ruler or even raise up a deliverer to remove a ruler or use the sinful rebellion of people to remove a ruler – but we have no authority or permission to do so on our own initiative. It isn’t up to us to decide, but rather God. You talk of having “a time to have the Spirit come upon you” -- as if that were up to you to generate. As if you were in control of the Spirit of God!!! God can send His Spirit; God can raise up a deliverer; God can determine that it’s time for a tyrant to fall – but that doesn’t mean we can or that we can simply decide that we are such deliverers!
You say that “’appointed’ authority can come under judgment themselves and their former slaves can even be the ones to take them out.” True. What is NOT true is the notion that WE get to decide when that time has arrived or that, contrary to clear command from God, we can do it our own way on our own timetable. You ask why the Declaration of Independence can’t be an example of this – BECAUSE THERE WAS NO REVELATION TO THE AMERICAN REVOLUTIONARIES TO TRUMP THE BIBLICAL COMMAND NOT TO REBEL. God did not reveal to them that this was an Othniel situation and He did not reveal to them that He had appointed an Othniel to deliver them! Othniel didn’t decide on his own – He received revelation from God.
Re your creative exploitation of Ecclesiastes 3: first, “a time for war” does not equal a time for rebellion or revolution, as you imply on occasion. War is a quite different entity than revolution, which may/may not be accompanied by war. To say there is a time for “war” tells us nothing about “revolution.” Second, you suggest, by the way that you refer to it, that God declaring that there is a time for each of the things listed indicates that they are good things or things of which God approves. That is not necessarily the case. So, even if there were a “time for revolution,” that would not necessarily make it a good or acceptable thing. And, the sense in which it would be good would be when God decides – not someone without the authority to do so – namely, us. Third, I notice that you conveniently leave out the first sentence of verse one: “There is an appointed time for everything.” That speaks of God’s control – of God’s plan. God has appointed times for events – they do not happen randomly or outside of His plan. That’s my view – not yours.
You say kings were not God’s original intent. I don’t see the relevance of the point, but if you mean that they weren’t part of God’s original plan, Deuteronomy 17:14-15 says differently – I’ll take God’s Word for it. Whether they were or not is irrelevant, though. Once they are governing authorities, they must be submitted to. Your example of Moses and the judges is not relevant because they were not “rulers” in the sense of making laws/commands or executing them. God made the laws and Moses executed them. The judges were just that: judges. Period. I don’t see the point of your example of the apostles appointing elders, either. The Greek word for “appointed” is cheirotoneo, which means to stretch out the hand and appoint/pick. Even IF it meant to elect, it’s the apostles who did the “electing,” not the people. Also, that’s simply ONE WAY TO COME INTO AUTHORITY – NOT THE ONLY WAY!
Re what you say about I Peter 2: here’s another straw man. I never said that humans do not establish governments in the sense of creating governmental institutions – quite the contrary. I specifically referred to the term “human institution” in my discussion of this passage. Man establishes governing institutions; God establishes/ordains the “authority” which those leaders wield. AND how about looking at the point of the passage instead of picking a word and making a trivial point?
As for my belief that it’s pointless to try to prevent God’s plan from happening: If you think you’re the answer to God’s question: “For the LORD of hosts has planned, and who can frustrate it? And as for His stretched-out hand, who can turn it back?” Go ahead, knock yourself out. Give it your best shot. Just don’t claim a biblical right to do it.
Another straw man: you say that I “do not leave room that evil empires can and have been used of the devil to do his work on earth.” Quite the contrary! I’m constantly reminding people entering the political arena that they should lower their expectations because Scripture identifies Satan as the “ruler of this world system.” BUT SATAN IS NOT AUTONOMOUS – he does what he does with the permission of God and within confines set by God. Read Job 1:8-12 and Job 2:3-6. God is quite ingenious if you think about it. He allows Satan to pursue his evil plans in this world by influencing governments – all the while God is restraining evil by the function of those governments! In fact, while we’re identifying Satan’s evil ploys, convincing men to rebel against God-ordained authority is one of his favorites.
While I John 3:8 says that Christ came to destroy the works of the devil, that doesn’t tell us anything unless we know what those works are. The rest of Scripture – including Romans 13 – tells us that resisting authority is one of those evil works for which practitioners will “receive condemnation.” Even IF this were supportive of rebellion, it says that CHRIST came to destroy the works of the devil – not us. So, again, it would be God – not us. [The verse is a specific reference to Christ’s work on the Cross, anyway.] Rebellion has destroyed plenty of lives, too! Wasn’t the Reign of Terror unpleasant enough for you? Arguably, many more people were unjustly murdered by the French revolutionaries than were ever killed by the monarchy.
Straw man alert! You say that you believe in the Trinity and in the right to revolt and that others 200 years ago might have, as well. You follow that insight with: “Is there a possible false dilemma here?” One problem: I NEVER CREATED SUCH A CONNECTION! I never said that one could not – or that they did not – believe in both the Trinity and in the right to revolt! I never even intimated such an absurd idea. Of course many believed in both the Trinity and a right to revolt. Like other people in this discussion, you’re suggesting that I’ve elevated belief in the proper interpretation of Romans 13 to a fundamental doctrine of Christianity – I have done no such thing. Of course someone could be right on the Trinity and wrong on submission to authority. I’m contending for a proper view of Scripture, but I’ve never said that human beings cannot be inconsistent in their reading of it – quite the contrary; I’ve said the exact opposite. So if there’s a false dilemma, you created it – not me.
The mere reprinting of Mayhew’s argument in your post does not make it any more accurate or correct than it was when he first made it. Mayhew says: “Rulers are, by their office, bound to consult the public welfare and the good of society: therefore you are bound to pay them tribute, to honor, and to submit to them, even when they destroy the public welfare ….” BUT THAT IS NOT WHAT ROMANS 13 SAYS! It never says that rulers are “bound to consult the public welfare and the good of society” – I defy you to show me where it does. It says that rulers ARE ministers of God (vs. 4) and that they ARE servants of God (vs. 6) – not that they should be or should try to be or aspire to be or are “bound” to be. All rulers and all governments restrain evil; although, being human beings and/or human-made institutions, some are better at it than others. Not a single government in history has been a perfect minister of God or servant of God – not a single ruler has been, either. But they’re all ministers/servants of God. And, as for the reasons to be subject, Romans 13 actually delineates four reasons, the first of which is because they all get their authority from God (vs. 1). But the reasons Mayhew lists refer to them BEING MINSTERS/SERVANTS OF GOD – not to them being “bound to consult the public welfare and the good of society,” which is never said.
So, there is an absurdity here, but it’s not an absurdity on Paul’s part (God’s part, really, since His Spirit inspired Paul) – it’s on the part of Mayhew.
I am very familiar with Abraham Keteltas’s God Arising and Pleading His People’s Cause – it’s hardly a reliable source. You talk about “extreme” positions? Keteltas argues in that sermon that Jesus came to earth and died on the Cross for the American cause!!! I keep a marker on that page of the sermon – for whenever I need a chuckle. As for his comments about who’s “anointed” in I Chron. 16 and Psalm 105 – both verses refer to prophets, not to the common people. [For those who want the technical, they are examples of parallelism in Hebrew, in which the same thing is said twice for emphasis – a common Hebrew technique.]
Re the Nero issue:
The flexibility of people holding your position on Romans 13 (especially as it applies to the American situation) never ceases to amaze me. In one sentence, you can justify a revolution against a “tyrant” for imposing a $1 per year tax to pay for a war which protected those people; in the next, you can with a straight face assert that a Roman emperor who drained every Roman of every cent to build extragant palaces for himself was not a tyrant. In one sentence, you can demand CONSENT as the only legitimate basis for government; in the next you can defend a Roman emperor as legitimate and not meeting the standard of tyranny that, of course, an English king met. While Nero had not yet begun specifically persecuting the Christians, he was hardly elected and hardly “consulted the public welfare and the good of society” by your and Mayhew’s standard!
You must remember that Paul wrote Romans UNDER THE INSPIRATION OF THE HOLY SPIRIT. God knew what Nero was going to do – and inspired Paul to write to those people how they must conduct themselves not just for that day, but when the persecution came. If it was just Paul’s opinion or limited by Paul’s finite understanding, then I wouldn’t give it any more weight than my own thoughts or those of a “wise” man. But it was GOD’s Word to those people – and it wasn’t bound by time constraints because God isn’t bound by time constraints. Paul did not say: “Let every person be in subjection to the governing authorities until they start doing mean and nasty things.” There are no qualifiers – despite Mayhew’s penchant for adding them. So, no, Nero had not yet begun burning Christians alive or feeding them to animals or nailing them to crosses, but the God Who inspired Paul’s writing knew he was going to.
WHEN HE DID BEGIN persecuting the Christians, it was so vile, wicked, and merciless that an entire branch of theology still today regards Nero as the Anti-Christ – THE WORST and most wicked ruler of all time.
I’m glad you refer to yours as the “the Lockean style of theological reasoning,” because it will help others reading along to recognize reading the Bible conveniently in support of a pre-determined agenda – rather than honestly on its own terms. Locke was hardly a theologian.
Re Titus 3:1, let me get this straight: if two words are used together in the same sentence, then every attribute of one of the words must be applied to the other???? If Paul tells readers to be subject to authorities and to be obedient in one passage, and in another entirely different book he says that subjection, but not obedience, is absolute, then obedience must also be absolute in the original passage? Frankly, I don’t know how to respond to such lack of logic. If I speak of God and man in the same sentence, then I must be saying that man has all of the same attributes as God? If I tell my daughter, knowing she isn’t old enough to drive: “do not murder anyone and do not drive a car” – then the universality of the first instruction necessarily applies to the second despite the context and I’m telling her she can NEVER drive a car? Again, you snatch things out of the air without regard to context for the purposes of your argument – Titus 3:1 was not written in a vacuum! He was writing to people who were familiar with the principle of Acts 5:29 AND with the fact that Paul was writing from prison (consistent with subjection, but not obedience)!
Re Locke’s creative attempt to minimize the universality of Romans 13: I give you credit for digging up an explanation. I think it’s interesting that you make it the view of Mayhew and Keteltas, too – although they say no such thing. The primary problem with Locke’s view – aside from the fact that it comes from Locke, hardly the most reliable source on the Bible – is that ROMANS 13 SIMPLY DOES NOT SAY WHAT LOCKE SAYS IT “MIGHT.” Romans 13 says nothing about differentiating Jewish rule from Gentile rule – that’s not an issue at all. If that were God’s message, one would think He could express it a little clearer – like actually saying that. In Romans 1-11, Paul lays out the theology behind being a Christian – how one becomes a Christian and what it means to be a Christian. Some of it is addressed to Jewish converts and some of it is not. It is addressed to Christians – all of them. Then, starting in chapter 12, he says that given our position as Christians, we need to think about things differently. In chapter 12 & 13, he explains HOW we are to think with “transformed” and “renewed” minds in a practical sense as Christians – not as Jews or Gentiles. It’s not an ethnic matter; it’s a spiritual matter.
As for your application comments, I would suggest that “some of the doctrines least friendly to liberty were constructed on the shaky foundation of theological interpretations that” are designed to appeal conveniently to whatever people want to hear or whatever they prefer. Communism, for example, is based on the notion that men are basically good. Sounds nice and reasonable, doesn’t it? Again, you’re mistreating a passage and taking it out of context when you say that Paul “is telling people it is better not to get married in one letter and in a later letter telling widows to get married if they are going to be busy bodies.” In I Corinthians 7:8, Paul says: “I say to the unmarried and to widows that it is good for them if they remain even as I” – but he doesn’t say it in a vacuum! In the previous verse (7), he says concerning his own unmarried status and the married people he was talking about in verses 2-6: “However, each has his own gift from God, one in this manner, and another in that.” So, for those with the gift of celibacy, being unmarried is a good thing – but he’s not telling everyone that it’s better to be unmarried. Quite the contrary; in verse 9 he says that those who feel sexual passion should marry. I don’t know what other passage you referred to, but it doesn’t matter since this one doesn’t say what you reported.
You say that we should “look beyond the surface of what the text seems to indicate” – this is the problem. Try looking AT what the text seems to indicate some time before replacing it with something you prefer.
As for your three “most important points”: the philosophical ideas to which you refer are NOT “taken from the text of the Bible,” but from creative, out-of-context interpretations which amount to re-writing the Bible (i.e. a different “text” entirely)
a) if it is wrong to state that these preachers’s ideas were shaped more by Enlightenment thought than Christian theology, then why did they cite Locke and other Enlightenment sources more than they cited Scripture or Christian sources?
b) have you actually read their sermons (aside from Keteltas)?
c) have you investigated their course of study in seminary to see what they were taught?
In your quote from Barton, we can see the cleverness or the ignorance of Barton – he says that “the TOPIC of civil disobedience and resistance to governing authorities had been a SUBJECT of serious THEOLOGICAL INQUIRIES for centuries before the Enlightenment. This was especially true during the Reformation, when THE SUBJECT was DIRECTLY ADDRESSED by theologians such as” Calvin, Luther, and Zwingli and others. Notice how he did NOT say that Calvin and Luther ADVOCATED resistance to governing authorities. He said the topic was discussed and “addressed” – but he didn’t say what their position was. He is either saying this in a way to imply that they supported resistance because he’s ignorant of the facts or he’s deviously saying it to imply that conclusion even though he knows it’s not true. Either way: CALVIN AND LUTHER DO NOT SUPPORT RESISTANCE TO GOVERNING AUTHORITIES – as I’ve shown numerous times on this blog.
Straw man alert! I have NEVER said or suggested that “they are all theistic rationalists,” as you say here. Quite the contrary (again): I’ve said all along that there were Christians and deists (and even a few atheists) among the Founders. For the record, Locke is not orthodox in his doctrines of salvation or almost anything else. For example, he doesn’t believe in the Trinity, the deity of Christ, original sin, the atonement, or justification by faith. And (straw man again) neither I nor anyone who shares my view concerning theistic rationalism (e.g. Jon) has EVER labeled “everyone a theistic rationalist that disagrees with the loyalist/Frazer line of reasoning.” In fact, as I’ve now repeated dozens of times, one’s position on Romans 13 is NOT one of the criteria in determining a theistic rationalist at all.
Re my question of whether we have any revelation from God affirming that He raised up Washington or any other American revolutionary as a deliverer or whether Washington or any other American revolutionary even claimed to receive direct revelation from God telling him to rebel: I give you credit for digging up a number of interesting quotes – but none of them answers the question that I actually asked. I did NOT ask whether they thought God was on their side or whether they thought they were doing what God would want done. I asked for revelation from God that they were doing His bidding or evidence from them that they claimed to receive revelation from God instructing them to be deliverers for Him. Obviously, they believed God was on their side – so did the British. So has virtually every combatant in world history. Hitler thought God was on his side and so did the Japanese when they bombed Pearl Harbor. The Romans and Egyptians cut out the middle man and deified their rulers to make sure they had God on their side.
I know that Washington believed in an active, intervening (“interposing” if you prefer) God – that’s one of my proofs that he wasn’t a deist. It is a quite different thing than believing that God spoke to him and told him to be a deliverer, however. I believe in an active, invervening God Who controls events, too – but I’ve never received any special revelation from Him except the Bible. The “called into action” quote is nice, but he says he was called into action “by great events” – not by God!
The story about Washington being immune to bullets is entertaining, but parts of it are problematic historically (sourced in Mason Weems’s hagiography of Washington which also reports that, on his death, angels came and bore away his body through the ceiling). But let’s say it’s true. All it proves is that: a) Washington did not die, b) Washington believed that God had specially spared him, c) it was not God’s plan that Washington die then. The same exact conclusions can be drawn from the attempt to assassinate Hitler: a) he did not die, b) he believed that God specially spared him, c) it was not God’s plan that Hitler die then. IT IS NOT REVELATION AND IT IS NOT EVIDENCE THAT WASHINGTON RECEIVED ANY REVELATION OR CLAIMED TO HAVE RECEIVED ANY REVELATION. It isn’t even evidence of any special relationship between Washington and God – unless Hitler had a similarly special relationship. [LET ME BE CLEAR: I AM NOT CLAIMING THAT HITLER HAD A SPECIAL RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD OR THAT IT’S A GOOD THING HE SURVIVED OR ANYTHING OTHER THAN whatever applies to Washington here similarly applies to Hitler]
Whether Washington or Keteltas thought God was blessing their cause or not is irrelevant to the actual question that I asked. I understand why you’ve re-framed it – as you have all of the questions – because it cannot be favorably answered from your position.
Finally, HISTORY does not at all contradict my view of Romans 13 – nor can it. My view does not say that everyone will be subject; it doesn’t say that revolutions won’t happen; it doesn’t say that God won’t use special deliverers; and it doesn’t say that God won’t use the sinful actions of people to accomplish His plan. So, how could history contradict my view?