For because of this you also pay taxes, for the authorities are ministers of God, attending to this very thing. Romans 13:6
Good folks at Bible Gateway give us a scripture today that comes from context of submission to governing authorities. Apostle Paul remind us that governments would not have authority unless God made it so. This is good reminder for Godzilla who’s instinct is to wade through the buildings toward the center of town!
On surface, it appears that Paul instructing us to follow leader even if leader is despot. Immediately, especially in present culture, debate would begin as to whether this always true, especially when leader demand you to commit actions that clash with responsibilities and conscience as Christian. This would be correct instinct if this what Paul mean; it’s not.
In context of the New Testament, the command from Paul is to be good Christian witnesses in community where you dwell. Participate, pay taxes, don’t break laws, care for others. This consistent with Jesus teaching to “pay our taxes” (Mark 22:13-17), and even when he submit to authority of Pontius Pilate (John 19:11). Peter teach also to submit to institutions like emperor or governor (1 Peter 2:13-17).
So what grade you give yourself over past six months, two years, etc.? Do you pay your taxes without cheating? You submitted to the authority of the governor or emperor…sorry… president even when you disagree politically with leader? You be good Christian witness before those who are watching?
Have you posted nasty words or pictures on social media about people in government leadership struggling with what to do about pandemic? Not good witness. Still deny COVID even though 3/4 million of neighbors died? Not good witness! Okay, you not like talk about COVID no more – Remember when Hitchhiker post about someone wishing harm upon public leader they not even know? Not good witness. In the past two Presidential elections, you throw tantrums from when your side lose calling into question legitimacy of the winner? Not good witness.
Okay, back to Paul. Apostle tell us to “attend to this” meaning we to be intentional about Christian witness in a non-Christian world. Be careful about your words and actions. After all, what they see in a Christian be projected upon the Savior!