Romans 13:1 – Ephesians 6:12

These two verses confuse me.

I am thankful to live in Canada and while I cannot honestly say that it makes me happy, I pay my taxes and feel that I benefit clearly from them.

I don’t agree with many policies, laws, etc. but I exercise the Romans 13 admonitions. There is no “terror” for me in my country.

The Ephesians verse paints another picture of “struggle” against “authorities”. The KJV refers to “spiritual wickedness in high places”.

I’m not sure how you reconcile these two verses. For me the notion of spiritual wickedness makes me think of spiritual contexts. I am certain that there are dark forces influencing governments and yet Paul suggests that they are “ALL” established by God. It may be just as likely that our “high places” today are similar to Old Testament “high places”. They were the places where Israel worshipped other gods. There is no reason to think that we may not also blend our faith with other “faiths”.

Power and authority in the hands of men are at home in the church that man builds in the name of God. Christ, the Head of the Church that God establishes, models servanthood and selflessness. It is a different brand of “leadership” than that which we have learned to love in the institutional church.

Should we not expect that our leaders would do as Christ did? Should we not be wary of those who would rather exercise power? And should we not wrestle against spiritual wickedness in high places, rather than submit to it?

You decide. But please do not go through exegetical gymnastics to reconcile these two verses to your presuppositions. The tension is better lived with.