Biblical doctrines law pandemic Politics vaccines worldview

Romans 13:1-8: Is It Our Duty To Obey Evil Government?

I get a lot of believers in Jesus asking me about our duty to obey government even if they are acting in an evil way. They usually cite Romans chapter 13.

If you are wondering if you are deceived by thinking that you don’t need to be duty bound to follow whatever the evil government decides, let me tell you that you are not deceived.

Below I take a quick look at the first 8 verses in Romans 13 from the KJVER version with my comments inter dispersed.

Let every soul be subject to the higher powers [i.e. governmental authorities]. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of [established by] God.

Romans 13:1

This is of course correct. All power on earth is under God’s sovereign will.

Whosoever therefore resists the power, resists the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation [condemnation].

Romans 13:2

This is also true but it is conditional on the rest of the text that follows.

For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Will you then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and you shall have praise of the same:

Romans 13:3

If the ruler is a terror to good works and not to the evil as is the case in the world now, the ruler is still ordained of God but you are not required to follow his dictates.

God uses evil rulers to rule over evil people but if the ruler acts in an evil way over God’s people or over the people in general the people are not duty bound to follow those evil ways. For example, if the leader/dictator of your state orders doctors to inject children with toxic shots that kill them, how could a follower of Jesus follow those directions? That would be participating in evil.

Our Western Australian Police Commissioner claims to be a born again believer in Jesus but he is participating in evil. Thus you have no requirement to follow his directions in the arena where evil is being committed.

Instead God requires…

For he is the minister [servant] of God to you for good. But if you do that which is evil, be afraid; for he bears not the sword in vain: for he is the minister [servant] of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that does evil.

Romans 13:4

Thus the government and its enforcement arm are meant to keep evil in check. What we have now under COVID tyranny is evil being committed under the authority of the government.

We know it is evil because there is no informed consent. The COVID “vaccine” inserts are intentionally left blank. So how can a doctor give the patient informed consent? He can’t and that also makes him culpable in this crime.

Wherefore you must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake.

Romans 13:5

But only if the ruler is for the good of the ruled. Not if he is an evil dictator.

There is another aspect to this. If the ruler is evil and he is ruling over an evil people (just like Nebuchanezzar ruled over evil Israel taken captive into Babylon) He is nevertheless ordained of God. This is because God uses evil people to execute His judgments on man. I believe that this is what is happening now in the world. In this sense, the evil rulers are still God’s ministers, His servants.

For for this cause pay you tribute also: for they are God’s ministers, attending continually upon this very thing.

Romans 13:6

So, as a follower of Christ we obey all we can, without compromising what the scriptures and hence God’s law teaches. We don’t need to enter politics as that is a very dirty game, but also God does not say a believer cannot do that.

However, Jesus said to Pilate that His “kingdom is not of this world” (John 18:36). We are strangers and pilgrims in the world, we are just passing through, we are waiting for a better kingdom, the kingdom of God (1 Peter 2:11; Hebrews 11:13,16). That kingdom is in our hearts now, and will be realised in the world to come (Revelation 21,22). In this world we only use it, but we do not hold onto anything in it (1 Corinthians 7:31).

Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour.

Romans 13:7

Pay your taxes, but honour and respect also is conditional on a ruler acting for good and not evil against the people.

Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loves another has fulfilled the law.

Romans 13:8

Personally owe no man or woman any thing except we are commanded to love one another. That is the only requirement from God. We are free of all ordinances and laws that would enslave us.

I find the following presentation by Prof. Zimmermann on this topic to be excellent. It was given in October 2021 Covenant Baptist Church, Rossmoyne, Western Australia.

Available on YouTube.

Comments welcome below

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By John Gideon Hartnett

Dr John G. Hartnett is an Australian physicist and cosmologist, and a Christian with a biblical creationist worldview. He received a B.Sc. (Hons) and Ph.D. (with distinction) in Physics from The University of Western Australia, W.A., Australia. He was an Australian Research Council (ARC) Discovery Outstanding Researcher Award (DORA) fellow at the University of Adelaide, with rank of Associate Professor. Now he is retired. He has published more than 200 papers in scientific journals, book chapters and conference proceedings.

12 replies on “Romans 13:1-8: Is It Our Duty To Obey Evil Government?”

Quote Gideon:
“Thus the government and its enforcement arm are meant to keep evil in check. What we have now under COVID tyranny is evil being committed under the authority of the government.”
Zimmerman quotes:
Acts 5:29
But Peter and the apostles answered, “We must obey God rather than men.”
Excellent explanation and post.
William Wilberforce is a great example of righting evil rather than succumbing to the government dictates of the day. Yet the Bible is not against slavery; only the barbaric and inhumane treatment of slaves.
Sadly, too many are acquiescing to their mistaken belief that Romans 13:1-2 was handed down as part of the only words written by God Himself at Mt Sinai. They wilfully overlook (or are blatantly ignorant) that the same writer of Romans, elsewhere, says that women are not to speak in church. They ignore this directive while claiming disobedience to the government is sin.
Furthermore, the same writer of Romans also said that women were given long hair because of the angels, even going on to say that it is a kind of evil for women to have very short hair.
Now if God inspired that author who made the absurd statement about women (as in all women) having long hair, this poses a major obstacle for convincing many people that the Bible is the literal inerrant word of the all-knowing God, unless African women are exempt.
Like Ecclesiastes says, there are times for one thing and there are times for another thing: “a time to love and a time to hate.” But then people who make dogmatic assertions of inerrancy find themselves once more having difficulties with the book of Ecclesiastes.
Maybe God gave us the ability to reason with Him and expects us to do so. For it appears that there are different strokes for different folks to utilize and a course for a William Wilberforce that ain’t fitting for anyone else.


What I would like to know is the best way to petition McGowan, Amber-Jade, Robertson and company, so they understand that the current restrictions are unnecessary and countries like the UK are getting rid of those that they imposed.


Governments in this country are elected. Claiming that they are appointed by God is difficult to justify. The system of election can be complicated. Topher Field provides an excellent demonstration of how proportional voting works and what happens to our votes. Understanding this is very important for those of us who love our freedoms and are opposed to the illegal discriminatory restrictions and mandates. For freedom Christ set us free! (Gal. 5:1).

Federal elections are a matter of months away. Pity we have to wait longer for the WA elections. A concerted effort is needed, nevertheless, to educate the public of the necessity to punish those who seek to control and oppress us.


Thomas Jefferson warned that the people will wake up homeless.

Thomas Jefferson said in 1802: “I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies. If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around the banks will deprive the people of all property – until their children wake-up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered.”

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The other point to Romans 13 is that this was written by Paul at a certain point in history to a certain group of people who were living in Rome at that time.

Paul himself was a Roman citizen, and the Roman government and military saved his life, more than once. On his last trip to Jerusalem, the Jews would have killed him, if not for the Roman government intervening to save his life. The Jewish rulers in Jerusalem at that time were the evil ones subverting justice, while the Roman government was actually upholding the law.

Jesus interacted with some of these Romans, and even healed the child of a Roman soldier. The story of another Roman soldier in Acts 10 shows that there were many believers among the Romans.

Different government, with different actions, in a different part of history. We need to keep this in context when we try to draw general principles about government from the book of Romans.

And even Paul disobeyed them at times, like when they tried to arrest him in Syria shortly after his conversion, but escaped over the wall with the help of friends.

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If Satan is in charge of your country the answer is no. The bigger question is what to do with all the imbeciles who comply with Satan. How do you handle 50-60% of the weak willed public refusing to resist? We have a self centered populace the world over who will allow Satan to manifest as long as their comfortable little life isn’t disturbed. There are millions of people in Canada, what were they doing while the truckers were being attacked? The irony is that all the compliant people will eventually lose everything anyway. They are making their own misery. Evil regimes do not form in a vacuum, it’s the compliance that makes them happen.


Just came across your website while researching various contemporary matters. Very impressed with the site I must say. Keep up the good work. Martin


America has declared that our constitution is the supreme law of the land and base their claims on Romans 13,I know for a fact that it has been taught that way in christian chuches,I have heard it taught in this manner many time,But the writers of the book of Romans would not have agreed or even known that an American constitution would ever exist,the only exclamation would be,is that Romans was speaking of the Torah as being the surpreme law of the land.the idea that our constitution is greater than our creators books of the law is repugnant and complete nonsense.


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