Great post, highly recommend:
Lawful authorities – and one must keep in mind this does not mean all claimants to authority – just are God’s means to execute His vengeance. Rulers, both Christian and non, are ministers of God’s wrath to punish evil.
If a Christian believes Romans 12 prohibits Christians from ever carrying out vengeance, Romans 13 would thus prohibit any Christian from ever working in civil authority – from being a ruler to a lesser magistrate to a soldier to even a police officer. Few Christians, outside a few cults and tiny sects, actually believes this, and it wasn’t an historical belief among Christians.
That has been the traditional understanding of these passages for like nearly 2 thousands years until we got liberal Christianity which, imo, has its roots both in the spirit of this age and in unnatural pacifism of Anabaptists like Mennonites and the like.
H/t to Will at Patriactionary