With all the fervor and fury around children being separated from their parents at the US borders, there’s been a lot of spewing on Facebook and news media. The US Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, used Romans 13 as justification for American citizens to respect and obey government decisions on border security including separating children form their parents at the border.
And so, Ian Paul asks “should we always obey the government?” I recommend his essay to you because it addresses some basic hermeneutical (interpretive) principles that are quickly forgotten when topics are heated and intense. What amazes me is how quickly a common sense reading of anything is eclipsed by our passions and presuppositions, whether the Bible or a news article or a nursury rhyme (see my post here). Human emotion clouds our judgment and some remediation of basic reading skills is needed. When set into its context, Romans 13 simply does not say what Sessions claims it says. And, Al Mohler’s remarks that Sessions did not so much “misuse” as “overuse” the text is hardly satisfying, since the net effect of overusing a text is the same as misusing it.
Do take the time and read Paul’s carefully written remarks.