According to St. Paul, Saddam Hussein and North Korean dictator Kim Jong Il are not evil tyrants oppressing innocent people, rather they are God’s ministers doing God’s work in the world.
Don’t believe me? Check out Paul’s Epistle to the Romans.
According to the New King James version of the Bible, Romans 13.1 states: “Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God.” In Romans 13.6, Paul says of government authorities “… for they are God’s ministers attending continually to this very thing.”
What this means is that all government leaders–including Saddam Hussein, Adolph Hitler, Joseph Stalin, Pol Pot, and Idi Amin–were put into power by God and whatever policies they carried out were the will of God. The Holocaust, the Gulags, the Purge Trials and Apartheid were all the will of God. The Nazis who ran the gas chambers and the Japanese soldiers who threw Chinese babies on bayonets during World War II were doing God’s work in the world.
If this horrendous idea were not bad enough, Paul states in Romans 13.2: “Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgement on themselves.”
In other words it is a sin to oppose a government policy no matter how evil, corrupt or oppressive. Thus, the Founding Fathers were sinners for opposing British rule of North America, Gandhi was a sinner for opposing British rule in India, Lech Walensa was a sinner for opposing Communist rule of Poland. On the other hand, Saddam Hussein was not sinning when he used nerve gas on innocent Kurd civilians; he was doing God’s work.
Paul also gives good Christians a pretext for not doing anything to help the victims of tyranny. In Romans 13:4, Saint Paul describes a government leader as “an avenger to execute wrath on him who practices evil.” Therefore, the victim of tyranny must be a sinner who did something wrong and is merely being punished for it by God. I wonder what sins were committed by the Jewish children who perished in the gas chambers and the Chinese babies who were pitched on bayonets.
St. Paul then was perhaps one of the greatest enemies the cause of freedom ever had. He told Christians that they had a moral duty to bow down to tyrants and to accept tyranny as the natural order ordained by God.