My question is about Romans 13:1-5, which says we are to obey the authorities, and the extent to which we should we follow every human law. In some countries, if you are a professional cook, you are not allowed to cook for your own family. Or you are not allowed to fix the toilet (even if the job takes only two minutes), but have to call for a workman. But what if the workman can only come the following week? In the European Union you are not allowed to give food past its expiration date to homeless people (you have to throw it away). But surely, if the food was okay to buy ten minutes before the shop closed, it is okay to give it to homeless people ten minutes after closing! Many shop workers in Estonia are doing precisely this. The government of the EU may assume we have a good system for helping homeless people, but we don't. In the EU it can cost you $2500 to change a light bulb if you have a very high ceiling (as in a church or some other big building) and want to follow the law. And then there are the very old laws that nobody follows. For example, every hotel must have a place for horses. Somebody evidently forgot to remove this one! (And there are even more ridiculous rules.) Sometimes the lawmakers are just not in contact with reality. -- Martin
Obsolete, awkward, and illogical laws have a way of going out of existence, officially or unofficially. I do not think you are necessarily sinning if you repair your own toilet, even if that means the union plumber will not be paid. What is the context of Romans 13? It is referring to paying taxes (v.6). It is also referring to crimes against the state, crimes that can merit the death penalty (v.4). Hardly the same level of infraction, in my opinion, as giving away food past its expiration date or repairing your own toilet. Thank you for your question, which I also found quite entertaining. I think (I hope!) the Lord would have said to you, "Go in peace."
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