(July 15, 2015)
There is really no way around the clear language and reasoning of Paul – there is no power in existence other than God (and those powers he ordains to others). That means that the petty bureaucrat that mindlessly acts to complicate your life (or even tries to crush you maliciously) is acting with power given to him by God.
This, of course, doesn’t make them right. Nor, of course, does it mean that you are not permitted to take advantage of those rights of redress permitted under the governmental structure. But it doesn’t mean – whether in the Church or in secular matters – that we consent to the exercise of power even when done unrighteously because we accept that all power comes from God.
When those exercising power use it improperly, they will be acting to their own destruction and not to ours (assuming that we place our minds firmly upon God).