Part I: Romans 13:1 and Liberal Theology


Pop Culture is an interesting critter. Unfortunately, our thoroughly modern world, and those with thoroughly limited connections to the past don’t quite grasp the concept that pop culture has existed since the beginning of culture. Pop culture during the era of Mozart dictated that men wear red shoes with at least an inch spool heel.  It once demanded women wear outlandish hair, powdered with flour, and home to rats, lice, and all manner of vermin.  Pop culture during the era of Elizabeth I stated that no one should bathe.  After the immediate end of the Reign of Terror in France, women wore transparent gowns, nothing under them, with appropriate holes to show the bare tush, and basically topless.   Fashion and pop culture in the Twelfth Century demanded aristocratic women wear tight whimples around their head.

What is seen as the traditional ‘penguin’ habit for a conservative nun was high fashion during the days of Eleanor of Aquitaine, and should remind us that only wealthy, upper class, aristocratic women primarily because it was a way to avoid marriage to a man they disliked and the death sentence of having children. Pop culture in Athenian society demanded that the role of women be degraded to that of having a son, then preferably dying.  It was adapted by upper class religious aristocrats in Judea.  We see that specific ancient cultural twist every day in the way conservative Islam treats women.

Unfortunately, religion can be used for pop culture.  Romans 13:1-2 Commentary from Precept Austin provides an excellent base of knowledge about how the verse is used.  It provides literary, historical, and religious background for the use of the verse, including a discussion about the American Revolution.  The problem with the Atlantic article, referenced below, by Lincoln Mullin is it literally muddies the water, and turns Romans 13:1 into a nasty moment of pulp culture. I did a Google search of Romans 13:1 ending at June 1, 2018.  Absolutely NOTHING showed up about the relationship between Romans 13:1 and slavery.  This is a sampling of the links.  It should be noted that I’ve used a kitchen sink approach and not edited links for ideology or theology.  My search was simple:  Romans 13:1 until June 1, 2018.  There were about 9 pages.  The links below encompass most of the commentary and articles.  I am not linking to various passages.

Verse by Verse Bible Commentary

The Christian and the Government

Romans 13, N.T. Wright, and a Christian Response to Paris

Is Romans 13:1 Skewing Evangelicals’ View Of Trump?

United Conference of Catholic Bishops Romans 13

Subjection to God and Subjection to the State, Part 1

Romans 13 Re-Examined: Obey the Government

Romans 13:1-7 Apartheid’s Last Biblical Refuge

Peace Theology

Biblical justice and civil disobedience

Context Is Key to Interpreting Romans 13:1-7

Difficult Bible Passages

Christianity and the Limits of Politics

A Brief Consideration of Romans 13:1-5

Why you shouldn’t use Romans 13 to quell political dissent

(Rom. 13:1-7) Are we supposed to submit to evil governments?

Was the American Revolution a violation of Romans 13:1-7?

God’s Strange Servants

Paul and Civil Obedience in Romans 13:1-7

Are U.S. Politicians God’s Servants?: Romans 13:1-7 and Political Rhetoric


Our Responsibility To Government

Submit to Government? (Romans 13)

The three part series continues tomorrow.