Should We Follow Corrupt Leaders?

Q. The Bible says to submit to authority because it is established by God. Doesn’t this mean that the American Revolution was wrong? Also, what about governments that are actively committing genocide? Should the Jews in the Warsaw Ghetto not have resisted? Doesn’t this mean that Stalin, Hitler, Mao, Pol Pot, etc. were all put in place by God and that they should have been obeyed even they mercilessly massacred their own people? I am confused.

A. I think you’re confused because you’re not using sound judgment. The same passage (Romans 13:1-7) says that people who’ve done nothing wrong have nothing to fear from their leaders. What we know about the character of God tells us that leaders like the ones you mention rebelled against Him. That means some other power was influencing them and that God will punish them for their actions. Sometimes this punishment begins with a revolt by the people, but in addition Isaiah 14:9-11 says that they will all be there to greet Satan in Hell.

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