I am leading our Adult Bible Fellowship group through a study titled “Always Ready to Give an Answer: Addressing Contemporary Cultural and Theological Issues.” Recently we studied Biblical principles regarding how a Christian should relate to his or her government. Here are the principles we examined:

  1. Every person is to “be subject” to every governing authority (Rom. 13:1–5; Titus 3:1; 1 Pet. 2:13-17).
  2. Submission to governing authorities includes the responsibility to pay taxes (Matt. 22:15–22; Rom. 13:6, 7).
  3. The only exception to our responsibility to submit to governing authorities is when it would be a sin to do so (Acts 4:18–20; 5:27–32; cf. Exod. 1:15–22; Dan. 3; 6), such as when government forbids something God commands, or commands something God forbids.
  4. Christians have the right to use the established political and/or judicial process to their favor when necessary or desired (Acts 22:22–29; 25:1–12; cf. Esther and Nehemiah) for the sake of the gospel.
  5. We should pray for governing authorities (Matt. 6:9, 10; 1 Tim. 2:1–4), that God’s will would be done on earth as it is in Heaven and that our government would allow us to “lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way.”
  6. It is appropriate at times to speak out about the immoral conduct and laws of the government and governing authorities (Matt. 14:1–4).
  7. We should remember that ultimately God sovereignly controls every government and every governing authority (Prov. 21:1; cf. Ps. 2:1–12; Dan. 4:25, 32; Acts 4:27, 28).
  8. We must not forget that the primary mission of the church is to make disciples of Jesus Christ, not change government or bring about moral reforms (Matt. 28:19, 20).