Should We Obey State Authorities?
In the age of COVID, shutdowns, mandates, and hysteria, there is a large problem within the Church. Should we obey the laws of the land or the Laws of the Lord, when they are in conflict? To begin with please turn to Paul’s Letter to the Romans. Paul addresses some of the problems implicit in this question right there.
Romans - Chapter 13 1-14
1 Everyone is to obey the governing authorities, because there is no authority except from God and so whatever authorities exist have been appointed by God. 2 So anyone who disobeys an authority is rebelling against God's ordinance, and rebels must expect to receive the condemnation they deserve. 3 Magistrates bring fear not to those who do good, but to those who do evil. So if you want to live with no fear of authority, live honestly and you will have its approval; 4 it is there to serve God for you and for your good. But if you do wrong, then you may well be afraid; because it is not for nothing that the symbol of authority is the sword: it is there to serve God, too, as his avenger, to bring retribution to wrongdoers. 5 You must be obedient, therefore, not only because of this retribution but also for conscience's sake. 6 And this is why you should pay taxes, too, because the authorities are all serving God as his agents, even while they are busily occupied with that particular task. 7 Pay to each one what is due to each: taxes to the one to whom tax is due, tolls to the one to whom tolls are due, respect to the one to whom respect is due, honor to the one to whom honor is due. 8 The only thing you should owe to anyone is love for one another, for to love the other person is to fulfill the law. 9 All these: You shall not commit adultery, You shall not kill, You shall not steal, You shall not covet, and all the other commandments that there are, are summed up in this single phrase: You must love your neighbor as yourself. 10 Love can cause no harm to your neighbor, and so love is the fulfillment of the Law. 11 Besides, you know the time has come; the moment is here for you to stop sleeping and wake up because by now our salvation is nearer than when we first began to believe. 12 The night is nearly over, daylight is on the way; so let us throw off everything that belongs to the darkness and equip ourselves for the light. 13 Let us live decently, as in the light of day; with no orgies or drunkenness, no promiscuity or licentiousness, and no wrangling or jealousy. 14 Let your armor be the Lord Jesus Christ and stop worrying about how your disordered natural inclinations may be fulfilled.
Other Verses Which State We Should Obey The State Authority
By me princes rule, and the mighty decree justice.
My son, fear the Lord, and the king: and have nothing to do with detractors.
And he changeth times and ages: taketh away kingdoms, and establisheth them: giveth wisdom to the wise, and knowledge to them that have understood:
The tree which thou sawest, which was high and strong, whose height reached to the skies, and the sight thereof into all the earth:
Jesus answered: Thou shouldst not have any power against me, unless it were given thee from above. Therefore, he that hath delivered me to thee hath the greater sin.
They, therefore, that received his word were baptized: and there were added in that day about three thousand souls.
Be not overcome by evil: but overcome evil by good.
Therefore, he that resisteth the power resisteth the ordinance of God. And they that resist purchase to themselves damnation.
1 Timothy 2:2
For kings and for all that are in high station: that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all piety and chastity.
Admonish them to be subject to princes and powers, to obey at a word, to be ready to every good work.
1 Peter 2:13
Be ye subject therefore to every human creature for God's sake: whether it be to the king as excelling,
What was Paul asking the Romans to do and why?
If apostle Paul was advocating obedience to secular authorities, then Caesar would have no cause against him. Why would Caesar have Paul beheaded if he was promoting obedience to Rome?
The world loves its own. If Paul belonged to Caesar, Caesar would not want to kill his own. If Paul was promoting "be subject to Caesar," then Paul would be Caesar's friend. You would not kill your own. You don't destroy the very instrument that advertises for you.
Look no further than Matthew 22:36-40
36 'Master, which is the greatest commandment of the Law?' 37 Jesus said to him, 'You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. 38 This is the greatest and the first commandment. 39 The second resembles it: You must love your neighbor as yourself. 40 On these two commandments hang the whole Law, and the Prophets too.' (Matthew 22:36-40). Do you know what that represents to a Christian? These two commands are the Supreme Law of the Land. If you believe that something else is the supreme law of the land for a Christian, someone has deceived you. It was a thief who drew you away from the true Supreme Law of the Land (see John 10:8).
As the followers of Jesus Christ, we belong to another Kingdom, the Kingdom of Heaven. The Kingdom that will last forever and ever. The Kingdom has its own government, its own laws, and its own leaders. In fact, the Apostle Paul was not commanding us in Romans 13 to submit to the civil authorities of the kingdoms of this world. On the contrary, he was commanding us to obey the rulers of His kingdom.
It is a fallacy that Paul was commanding Christians in Rome to submit to the secular government. Paul was talking about obeying the rulers of the Kingdom of Heaven.
It was time then and the time now for Christ's followers to renounce their allegiance to the ever-changing governments of men. No, no, no we do not need to take God out of the government and replace it with the government itself. We need to put God in the government. We as Catholic Christians must set an example that there is a higher and more perfect form of government, the Kingdom of Heaven. Brothers and sisters do not go for the lowest level of behavior, we need to shoot for the sky. After we find ourselves in a battle with Satan himself. Are we going to just sit back and do nothing? Is this what God would like? Think about it. If you are not currently doing this, then change. If you too are worried about it, leave a comment and like or love the article. If you truly believe, then change your behavior. Amen