The Messiah's mission

Romans 13:8-14

In January 1990, as Operation Desert Storm was lighting up the skies over Iraq, I was asked to preach on Romans 13. When people refer to Romans 13, they are usually thinking of the first seven verses, which suggest that submission to the authorities, who have been placed there by God and given the “sword,” is the duty of every Christian.

My Mennonite tradition has always had an uneasy relationship to Romans 13. Rather than try again to search for a way of reading it that would not subvert Jesus’ call to love the enemy, or Paul’s to pursue the stranger with love, I decided to preach on the second half of the chapter.

 

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