Since Nov 10, 2016

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"There is, then, no possible way of defending the minority ... from the tyranny of the majority, but by giving the former a negative on the latter." - John Adams, A Defense Of The Constitutions Of Government Of The United States Of America

"It is of great importance in a republic not only to guard the society against the oppression of its rulers but to guard one part of the society against the injustice of the other part. If a majority be united by a common interest, the rights of the minority will be insecure." - James Madison, Federalist No. 51

"When a majority is included in a faction, the form of popular government, on the other hand, enables it to sacrifice to its ruling passion or interest both the public good and the rights of other citizens." - James Madison, Federalist No. 10

'The other interpretation of Romans 13 was set out forcefully in a theological work first printed in 1579 by Frenchman Philippe du Plessis Mornay. Written originally in Latin, it was titled Vindiciae Contra Tyrannos, but was later reprinted in English as “A Defense of Liberty Against Tyrants” under the pen name “Junius Brutus.” This treatise took the position that government being ordained of God was referring to the general institution of government rather than to each and every distinct government.

'That is, the institution of government was ordained by God, but that did not mean that God approved of every specific government. God ordained government in lieu of anarchy — He opposes anarchy, He opposes rebelliousness and lawlessness, and He opposes wickedness. Yet, there are clearly have been governments in recent years that promote anarchy, rebellion, and wickedness (e.g. Ghadaffi in Libya, Hussein in Iraq, Bin Laden in Afghanistan, Ho Chi Minh in Vietnam, Idi Amin in Uganda, etc.). Has God endorsed those specific governments that promote that which He hates? If so, He has contradicted His nature and is commanding submission and support to the very things that He hates — such is not possible.

'The Presbyterians, Lutherans, Baptists, Congregationalists, and most other Christian denominations during the American Revolution all believed that Romans 13 meant they were not to overthrow government as an institution and live in anarchy, but that this passage did not mean they had to submit to every civil law (note that in Hebrews 11, a number of those who made the cut in the “Faith Hall of Fame” as heroes of the faith were guilty of civil disobedience — including Daniel, the three Hebrew Children, the Hebrew Midwives, Moses, etc.). Furthermore, the Apostles in Acts 4-5 also declared their willingness to be civilly disobedient —they would obey God rather than their civil authorities.

'The real key to understanding civil disobedience and Romans 13 under this latter view, then, is to determine if the purpose of opposition is simply to resist the institution of government in general (which would be anarchy and would promote a rebellious spirit), or if it is to specifically resist bad laws, bad acts, or bad governments. The American Founding Fathers understood and embraced the second interpretation of Romans 13, and therefore strongly opposed the “Divine Right of Kings” theology which was an outworking of the first interpretation of Romans 13.' - David Barton