Again, I’m undecided on who to vote. but I’ve been getting a lot of comments arguing why my valuing of human life and principles is wrong, is “being silent to injustice”, or isn’t biblical By quoting Romans 13. I have no idea why the idea of valuing life and freedom is so offensive – particularly to Christians. That’s the part that blows my mind. Here’s my response to anyone who uses Romans 13 to vote: I actually agree with Romans 13. I agree with it so much that I take it seriously. I completely agree with these verses. Thats why it’s important to understand what “authority” and “higher power” means in these verses. For a Democracy, that higher power or authority is given its power legitimately through the agreement of the people, and that higher power and authority must abide by the principles of the agreement of the people, which is the constitution. These principles are what distinguish between justice and murder, defense and violence, and they give us a “due process”, that no one man or one group can claim the verses you’re claiming, and skew them for unjust reasons, then make the excuse that the “ends justifies the means”, when the non-guilty are punished along with the guilty. The laws of the land determine what is good. The principles of the Bible you used determine what is moral. So I agree with you. That’s the role of the government. So using the principles you just shared, being true to them means you will be voting someone who will honor the laws of the land, the laws that make any official a legitmate authority, by enforcing them in a way that is “good” (just) for he is a minister of “good” (justice) after all. And if he commits injustice to provide justice, just like any of the evil you mentioned above, he also breaks what is “good” and so joins the ranks of that which he is supposed to be fighting. So we must vote someone who will enforce “good” without becoming “bad, for if he does “bad” for the sake of “good”, then I have empowered “bad”. The verse says what happens to people who “resisteth”, they are damned. I think more people should understand that verse deeply. It’s a great place to draw principles from for the elections. But understand the verse, and don’t take this verse or any verse in isolation and say, “this is the truth!” This causes us to use them to defend our strongly held beliefs instead of allowing the verses to inform and refine our beliefs. I think that’s irresponsible theology, even if it comes from a “Christian leader”, which I am not. And I will be very scared to use verses so simple-mindedly, not just for the injustice this may cause, but that they may displease the One whose words I misconstrue for my own ideas.
David Bonifacio Entrepreneur, social worker, writer, artist, CEO of Bridge, CEO of Elevation Partners, Managing Director of New Leaf Ventures. #db View all posts by David Bonifacio