13 Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, whether to a king as the one in authority, 14 or to governors as sent by him for the punishment of evildoers and the praise of those who do right (1 Peter 2).
The word “submit” means “to arrange under,” thus, in context here, we are to put ourselves under the “authority” of “every human institution, whether to a king … or to governors.” Why? Because they have been “sent by [God]” Himself either for “punishment” or “praise.”
Yet, this punishment is for “evildoers” (those who rebel against God’s ways), or praise “of those who do right” (those who follow God’s ways). Now, what if a human institution begins to dole out punishment for those who do right, instead of those who do wrong? Must we then submit to that institution? Ah, now that’s a dangerous question! It’s a question posed by our Forefathers when they broke away from British rule under the tyranny of a king who punished them unjustly over and over again.
Just because Christians are sheep in God’s flock, does not require them to be sheep in any government’s.
Lord, thank You for the freedoms afforded us in this country founded so long ago upon Your principles. Give us courage in these days, and particularly in This Day, not only to ask the dangerous question, but also to answer it according to Your will. Amen.