Friday, January 15, 2010

Magistrates: Servants and Condemned

"Peter does not go as far as Paul does, for the latter argues in Rom. 13:3-4 that public order is God's will and therefore the ruler is in that respect God's 'servant.' In this area our author is far more schematized, simply citing the basics of the tradition. Neither of them, of course, necessarily approves of the methods of the rulers, nor argues that Christians should participate in their activities. According to the OT both the Assyrians and Babylonians were the "servants of God to execute His wrath" and "punished those doing evil," but both in turn were condemned by God for their means and motives in doing it. Jeremiah could argue that one should not resist Babylon; he never argued that one should join her." - Peter Davids, The First Epistle of Peter, 101.

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