According to the Scriptures, governments are conceived by God to exercise limited responsibilities. They are expected to accomplish only limited tasks. Their primary role is the protection of the innocent and punishment of the guilty according to the law. (Romans 13:3–4). As Scripture says: ‘[t]here is no authority except that which God has established […] For government is God’s servant working for your good. But if you do what is wrong, you should be afraid. The government does not bear the sword for no reason. It is God’s servant, an avenger to execute God’s anger on anyone who does what is wrong’ (Romans 13:1–4).
Above all, governments should adhere to this biblical principle: ‘Let all things be done decently and in order’ (1 Corinthians 14:40; Exodus 18:19f). As long as a civil ruler does what is right, we should be obeying him. The Apostle Peter explains: ‘Submit you for the Lord’s sake to every authority instituted among men, whether to the king, as the supreme authority, or to governors, who are sent by him to punish those who do wrong and to commend those who do right’. (1 Peter 2:13–14).