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Spiritual Short

Righteous living and good government

From the May 2017 issue of The Christian Science Journal

Seeing ourselves and those in government as we truly are, spiritual expressions of the Mind that is God, sets a high standard and is a vital part of the universal salvation that God will effect because of His own infinite goodness and love. 

In Paul’s letter to the Christians at Rome he writes that they should be subject to the authorities, not only to avoid their wrath but for the sake of doing right (see Romans 13:1–7). According to Paul, those in power are God’s servants. This startling statement shows an abiding confidence in God, since the authorities worshiped idols, persecuted Christians, and allowed others to do likewise. According to most scholars, Paul wrote Romans in about 56 ad, when Nero, not exactly celebrated for the excellence of his administration, was the emperor. And yet, just as Jesus recommended paying tribute money, that is, rendering “unto Cæsar [the emperor whose army was occupying the country of Jesus] the things which are Cæsar’s” (see Matthew 22:15–21), Paul counsels respecting the authorities and paying taxes.

Could it be that Paul and Jesus were not championing any particular government or condoning any specific action but rather acknowledging human government itself as a servant to God’s purposes of peace and harmony?

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