Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Are All Governments God's Governments?

Here's a lovely little passage from the Bible that, for some reason, you hardly ever hear Christians quoting these days. It's almost as though they don't agree with it, and yet it was written by the major founding father of their religion - St Paul, supposedly directly inspired by God.
Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. [my emphasis] Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation. For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil.

Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same: For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil.

Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake. For for this cause pay ye tribute also: for they are God's ministers, attending continually upon this very thing. Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour.

During the recent US presidential election campaign, you'd have expected Christians to have gone on endlessly about how all governments are ordained by God and how we should all pay our taxes because governments only do good and fight evil.

Very strange.

But of course, this passage, if you believe it, means that all government, everywhere and for all time, not only Barack Obama's, are, according to St Paul, ordained by God and all are doing nothing but God's work and fighting evil.

All governments, mark you! Not just modern Christian ones, or the first century CE Roman one. And every soul is subject to their rule. No geographical, political, religious or time constraints. The passages is unambiguous and unequivocal. All powers are of God and ordained by Him, and every soul is subject to them.

That means the governments of Saddam Hussain in Iraq, Muammar Gaddafi in Libya, Hozni Mubarak in Egypt, the Taliban government in Afghanistan, the Communist governments of Mao Zedong, Fidel Castro, Ho Chi Minh, Joseph Stalin and the governments of the Soviet client states of Eastern Europe, were all ordained by God and doing God's work.

It also means the Sandanista government in Nicaragua, the Allende government in Chile, the segregationist state governments in Alabama, Georgia and Arkansas of the 1950s and 1960s were, just as the latter three claimed, doing God's work, as is the Chávez government in Venezuela.

In fact, every government in history; the German Nazis, the Mongol hoards of Ghengis Khan; the Early Medieval Muslim conquerors of the Holy Lands, North Africa and Spain, all doing god's work, according to the Bible. And of course, if you believe the Bible, you'll believe the colonial government of George III of England was entirely legitimate and should never have been overthrown in the Americas, least of all over the issue of taxation.

According to St.Paul, every citizen of every nation enjoys God's protection against evil from His government, and every citizen of every country should pay taxes so their government can afford to carry out God's work, as God ordained.

Strange then that the fundamentalist Christian supporters of the tax evading Mitt Romney were urging the overthrow of God's ordained president and are in favour of intervention to destabilise and over-throw so many of God's foreign governments.

Unless they think the Bible is wrong, of course.

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