Being Submissive to Government

A question that I get asked often is, ”Aren’t we supposed to be submissive to the government?” ”When is it OK not to be?”

God is all-powerful, He is sovereign over all. But He has delegated some of His sovereignty to four different human institutions.

The first institution that He has given authority to, and instruction on being submissive to is the family.

Ephesians 6:1-3 Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. Honor your father and mother (which is the first commandment with a promise), so that it may be well with you, and that you may live long on the earth.

1 Peter 3:1 In the same way, you wives, be submissive to your own husbands so that even if any of them are disobedient to the word, they may be won without a word by the behavior of their wives,

The second institution that God has given authority to is business, the workplace. Obviously in this verse we can change the word slave to employee and master to boss. We all know that the boss is in charge and gives the orders.

Colossians 3:22 Slaves, in all things obey those who are your masters on earth, not with external service, as those who merely please men, but with sincerity of heart, fearing the Lord.

The third institution that God has shared His authority with is the church.

Hebrews 13:17 Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they keep watch over your souls as those who will give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with grief, for this would be unprofitable for you.

And the fourth institution that we are instructed to be submissive to is our government.

Romans 13:1 Every person is to be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God.

Each of these institutions has a realm of jurisdiction, that is, God has given them authority over a particular area of life. If they attempt to exercise authority outside the realm of their God-given place of jurisdiction, they will create rebellion, anger, and war.

Pastor Mike Dedera and I function as co-pastors. He preaches most of the primary weekend services, and I teach Leadership classes and preach at our Wednesday evening service. He leads the staff meetings, and I usually lead our Elder meetings. We meet almost daily to discuss and talk about the decisions and direction of the church. But I am still the Senior Pastor, the boss. I have pastored at JBC for 44 years, Mike, about 12 years, I am 72 years old, and I don’t think he is 50 years old yet.

So, let’s suppose as Mike’s Boss I order him to sleep in a different bed than his wife, even a different room because if he gets COVID she is almost guaranteed to catch it sleeping in the same bed with him. What will his reaction be to my command to him as his boss? It will be anger, resentment, and rebellion, and justifiably so. This example is laughable, it is so ridiculous. My authority as Mike’s boss doesn’t extend into his home, no matter how well-intentioned my motives are. My jurisdiction stops at the church.

Governor Brown of Oregon has attempted to extend her jurisdiction, her authority into our church telling us how many can meet together, and who can do what. She has attempted to move into my home commanding us, under the threat of fines and arrest, not to have more than six family members gathered together at one time. Giving her credit for having the noblest of motives does not matter one iota! She has no jurisdiction in my church or my home, and my resentment, anger, and rebellion over her attempt to control them is not being insubmissive to God’s will.

There was a very Biblical reason that our countries Founding Fathers put the First Amendment into the United States constitution. It basically means that government can’t boss churches around or tell them what they can’t do or have to do, the church is outside the realm of their jurisdiction.

Authority gone too far in the family is called child abuse, spousal abuse, and people are arrested, tried, and jailed for it. Bosses often become abusive, and overbearing, and you quit and find another job. Pastors often start thinking they are God and Lord it over people in their church, and those people then find another place to call their church home. So what do we do with this blatant abuse of power from our government? At this point I am just going to ignore it, see what happens, and go from there.

I invite you to come along with me on my adventure.

10 thoughts on “Being Submissive to Government

  1. Beverlee Hilton

    The concept of a “separation of church and state” reinforces the legal right of a free people to freely live their faith, even in public; without fear of government coercion. Free exercise means you may have a faith and you may live it. GOOGLE.

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  2. Larry Chapman

    Ephesians 3:3 For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to evil. Do you want to be unafraid of the authority? Do what is good, and you will have praise from the same.
    For the Love of the children and church that God has put under your teachings please comply for the government is not telling us to stop worshiping, just limit the number in a worship service for Jesus has given us technology to still reach out. For this shall pass in God’s timing.

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    1. deefduke Post author

      We are having in person church but spreading it out. Mike Dedera will preach in main sanctyary, and we will ”pipe” it to our old sanctuary, the gym, and a large classroom in our discipleship center. We will do that Saturday evening, Sunday morning at 9:00 and 11:30 and Wednesday night at 6:30 pm. We are recommending and encouraging people to voluntarily balance attendance to approx 25 per location, but we won’t count or keep people out. We aren’t going to be the ”covid police”. We will do that for 2 weeks and then go back to regular services. Hope that makes sense

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      1. Patty Schaan

        I’m sure you realize this 2 week mandate will not end after two weeks. So what then? I just came back from California and of course they are “mandating” the same. The churches in California, especially southern have decided that they will follow the Word of God and HIs mandate to not forsake the assembly of ourselves. Not limiting to 25 people. And they have thousands in some of their churches. (Jack Hibbs at Calvary Chino Hills, John MacArthur just to name 2) God has blessed them with no outbreak of significance with Covid.

        I pray JBC will do as you have said and after 2 weeks stand up to this evil and be what we are meant to be, a light to the world. May God continue to give you wisdom and leadership.

        PS this is just my opinion for what it’s worth. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

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