• John Hicks

Yeah, even if it's a political leader...

People today are so blinded and misled by a false interpretation and application of Romans 13:1-2 that they roll over and say nothing as sin erupts unchallenged all around them.

The mistake they make is in leaving verse three out and then assuming that they need to just keep their mouths shut in passive submission to who they falsely believe are leaders in place due to God’s will. This could not be further from the truth and John the Baptist, Paul and Hosea all knew this quite well.

In Romans 13:3 Paul clearly defines what a ruler is and that is they are not a terror unto good works. In other words, rulers ordained by God do not kill babies, justify immoral sexual behaviors and they would certainly not lie, cheat and steal in order to secure their power. If God had given them this power then those things would not be necessary, right? Or do the ends really justify the means in order to falsely redefine God’s sovereignty? Not in God’s economy, that is for sure.

For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil…Romans 13:3

Hosea recorded God as stating, “They have set up kings, but not by me: they have made princes, and I knew it not: of their silver and their gold have they made them idols, that they may be cut off.” (see Hosea 8:4).

John the Baptist, the man whom Jesus identified as the greatest of all prophets (see Matthew 11:7-11), showed us all how to stand for the truth and to call out sin even it was, or especially if it was, on the part of a ruler. Of course we all should know how he was in the wilderness at the beginning calling for all to repent of their sins but it was his open rebuke of Herod the tetrarch specifically that literally cost him his life but in God’s economy that is the right thing to do, always.

In Matthew 14 and Luke 3 we have the account of John calling out Herod in regards to his taking his brother's wife as his own. There is more context to this open rebuke of Herod in Luke chapter 3 verse 19 where it says that John’s rebuke of Herod was not just the taking of another man’s wife but it was for “all the evils which Herod had done”.

This is important because today a lot of people believe that they should just let politics play themselves out and it's not their business, even when there is lying, cheating and stealing in play. They believe that they need to keep to themselves or in their minds busy only with what they perceive to be the kingdom’s work. they believe that they shouldn't get involved with the processes involved with picking the “rulers” of our day or with the struggles of modern day politics in general and yet we saw John doing just that where he literally called out Herod for all the evils that he had done.

John rebuked the ruler's sins boldly and publicly and this is in agreement with what Paul told Timothy to do and which we should as well:

“Them that sin rebuke before all, that others also may fear.” 1 Timothy 5:20

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