I recently taught on Romans 13 and it gave me a fresh perspective on the passage.
Romans 13 certainly teaches us about how we ought to honor and respect those who govern us and that, in fact, their authority comes from God. I don’t believe, however, that it says everything about our relationship to the civil sphere and it could even lead one to some erroneous conclusions.
For instance, it does not permit us to simply do everything the governing authorities tell us to do. We are not permitted to disobey God in the obedience to government and civil government is to be honored “where it is due” – that is to say that it has no authority beyond the sphere it has been given authority by God.…Read More
Jacob asked the following:
Theonomy is concerned with three irreducible questions, which anti-theonomists cannot answer in an epistemologically satisfactory manner:
1) Which sins should civil magistrates punish?
2) What should those punishments be?
3) How does one justify the answers to the first two questions?
If we are left to govern ourselves by general revelation, then civil laws must be ultimately a matter of opinion, yet laws by their very nature are to reflect what ought to be. Moreover, apart from Scripture inductive inference cannot be justified. Therefore, apart from Scripture it would be baseless to infer that all persons are endowed by nature with the same moral code. Accordingly, it would be tyrannical to impose unjustifiable codes of conduct, let alone sanctions for violations of those codes, upon others who do not claim to share those same codes.