Should We Obey Our Government’s Laws?

writing on the wall of the Jefferson Memorial

Dear Pastor Andy, does the Bible teach that we should do what we can to enact  the government’s laws, etc, based on what God approves of, or are we supposed to stay out of it? Are there any Biblical examples of God’s people making laws that are based on the law of God? Or any explicit or implicit commands to do so? And on the other hand, are there any explicit or implicit commands not to do so? Or do you have any other thoughts on this subject based on what the Bible teaches? Much thanks for your help.

My Reply:
Jesus and Paul both tell us to obey the government and pray for our leaders. However, the Bible also teaches us to obey unless the opposite glorifies God. For example:

  1. Rahab lied to the guards about the Israelite spies. But that glorified God.
  2. The midwives in Egypt were commanded to kill all the infant boys, but instead of doing so, they feared the Lord and allowed them to live. When they were confronted by the Pharaoh, they lied about why, and the Lord blessed them.
  3. The government in the NT forbade the preaching of the Gospel, yet Paul and the others continued to preach the Gospel all around, for it was what Jesus commanded us to do, and it glorified God.

Now, in terms of creating laws based on the Bible, as God’s people, we are commanded to be holy, just as God too is holy. Many of the USA’s founding fathers were Christians, and the main reason for coming here in the first place was for Christian freedom from a religious tyrant. So it makes sense that some of the laws are at least somewhat similar to the Law of Moses, for such are behaviors demanded of us.

Read more on what the Bible says on submitting to our government.

—Pastor Andy G.

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