“A Revolutionary Commentary on Romans 13:1-7”

Reviewed by A. Ralph Johnson


Book published by: Mission to Israel Ministries, P.O. Box 248, Scottsbluff, Nebraska 69363,

Library of Congress Number: 96-94961


The book was written by Ted Weiland, who is associated with Pete Peters in the Identity Movement of national ill-repute for its anti-Semitism and attacks on U.S. Government.  This book is primarily focused on the latter.  Both Weiland and Peters were at one time associated with Churches with which we are acquainted in Colorado and Nebraska.


This is much more than just a review of a book.  It is a review of a whole system of thinking that has pervaded churches in the mid-west with the concept that we are not obligated to pay taxes and obey the government.  The discussion focuses on the meaning of such passages as Romans 13 and 1Peter 2:13-17.


Reviewed by Ralph Johnson[1] of the Glen Acres Church in Seattle Washington, at the request of Bill Paul, Minister at the Crown Hill Church in Seattle.




Based on the section, “About The Author” (page 95), and information from other sources, Ted Weiland seems to have no credentials of substance.  He “attended” a small ministerial school, Christian Leadership Bible College[2], in Denver, Colorado, from 1975-1978.  He received no degree from it or any other college.


The rest of the information in the “About The Author” section seems to be a rather strained attempt to muster some credibility. 


He pastors a church in Scotsbluff, Nebraska known as Christian Covenant Fellowship


He is married, with four children.


He was reared in Colorado, graduated from high school, and rode in a Rodeo Circuit. 


He says he was “nominated” as one of 1983’s “Outstanding Young Men of America” “for his achievement and exceptional service while serving four years as an evangelist and youth leader at a church in Aurora, Colorado.”  No details are provided as to who nominated him, the organization to which he was nominated, or the identity of the church in which he served. 


He is “evangelistic head” of Mission to Israel ministries (No details provided as to the founder, its size or its purpose).


He “has a national and international audio tape ministry,” which seems to mean he will sell tapes to people both inside and outside this country.  No indication of any recognition by any credible neutral institution is given. 


He claims to be a columnist for the national Christian newspaper Jubilee in California.  The paper is not one that would be generally known and no information is provided as to the number of subscribers, it’s years of publication or the qualifications of its staff.


He lectures frequently throughout the United States.”  Wherever he can get an audience.


He also appears as a guest speaker on television and radio programs.”  I am sure he does when he can.


He is the author of the nationally and internationally acclaimed God’s Covenant People: Yesterday, Today and Forever.” On page 94, under “BOOKS” he says it “Addresses Israel’s modern-day identity. Thoroughly documented and will serve as the foremost reference work on this topic for years to come.”  No information is given as to who acclaims him.


He tries hard to make this sound impressive but it is not a particularly strong basis for recognition of his credibility as a Bible scholar.  However, at least he didn’t list any serious crimes.


May we also add a little footnote.  He has been a long-time associate of Pete Peters, a fanatical advocate of the old white-supremacist “Identity Movement,” [3] and rabid Jew-basher, who fans the fires of bigotry through such thoroughly discredited claims as the fraudulent “Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion.”[4] 




The book appears to be reasonably well written, with good organization, helpful headliners, variety of type faces, and is heavily documented with quotes he feels support his case.  It has a useful Table of Contents, Source Notes Section, Bibliography, Authors Index, and Subject Index.  The Author’s Preface gives some insight into his reasons for calling it “Revolutionary.” The book also contains a list of tapes and books for sale, that reveal some of the concepts he endorses.  One interest-catching feature is the number of pictures throughout that highlight his points.  I give him an “A” in this category.


From here on, things begin to get a bit fuzzy.


The book purports to be a commentary on Romans 13:1-7.

However, instead of presenting an objective study of the text, as a legitimate commentator should, he begins by launching into an emotional diatribe against what he terms, “one of the most destructive doctrines that has come out of Judeo—Christianity,” which he defines in a footnote as, “that vast segment of Christendom that has been heavily influenced, often unknowingly, by the Talmudic religion of Judaism.” 


One wonders about the soundness of such an all-inclusive indictment.  Upon what basis may we accept his claim that it is “one of the most destructive doctrines”?  Particularly questionable is the claim that the interpretation of the text by the “vast segment of Christendom” has been “heavily influenced, often unknowingly, by the Talmudic religion of Judaism.”  That seems to be far beyond Evangelist Weiland’s capacity to know, but his anti-Semitic bent is unmistakable.


Most of the book runs along a similar vein, with a lot of passionate venting of personal biases, and very little actual analysis of the text. 


A prominent feature of his style is how he cites many sources to back his case.  They are often of questionable qualifications, other than that he thinks they agree with him.  Their statements rarely relate directly to the text.   Indeed, it is doubtful that many of them would admit to much of Evangelist Weiland’s theological obsessions.  This would be especially true concerning his “Identity Movement” views that hold that the white Anglo-Saxon race is God’s covenant people, and his blanket accusations against Jews. 


One of the most serious errors in the book is that the “vast segment of Christendom” teaches “total submission to all government authority.”  He sets up this straw man and spends the rest of the book pummeling away on it, without it ever seeming to dawn on him that no reputable commentator or religious leader would maintain that we must obey tyrranic edicts, even above the will of God. The higher authority always supersedes the lesser. There is no question that Romans 13 must be qualified by the words of Peter and John,  “we must obey God rather than men” (Acts 5:29).


However, his contentions go far beyond our right to disobey government in matters of conscience.  He advocates that if the government is doing things contrary to the will of God it is no longer to be viewed as legitimate and Christians must rebel against it. 


On page 14 he draws this conclusion concerning Romans 13:1.

In other words, any civil authority not set up and sanctioned by God and not enforcing His [God’s] laws is not a legitimate authority, at least not over Christians...”


Again, on page 17 he says,

 “Let there be no mistake: According to the Apostle Paul, Christian resistance or rebellion against authority is wrong, but only against lawful or God-commissioned government or authority.”


On pages 31-32 he gives a list of qualifications for civil rulers to be identified as a “minister of God to [us] for good.”  He says that if America’s government consisted of officials who met these requirements, Christians would be obligated to submit to it.*


From statements such as these one might conclude that we are only obligated to obey Christians.  However, the asterisk (*) refers to the following footnote which seems to muddy the picture:


“* Even unrighteous governments at times have laws in harmony with YHWH’s laws.  In such cases, Christians are obligated to submit to those laws....”


On the one hand he contends that any government not enforcing God’s laws is not a legitimate authority over Christians, yet on the other, he seems to recognize that we are to obey laws “in harmony with YHWH’s laws,” even when administered by “unrighteous governments.” Question, Why, if the scriptures about governments in Romans and Peter do not apply to unrighteous governments?


This brings us back to the basic concepts held by all credible commentators –that we are to obey laws that are not in conflict with God’s will.  The application of that principle will vary but is a fundamental concept of our Christian responsibility towards civil governments.


However, with this conclusion the whole case for Pastor Weiland’s book begins to come unglued.  He has been vilifying “modern preachers” on an assumption that is simply not true, and putting forth a lot of effort to prove something that is not denied --“We must obey God rather than man.”                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     




ROMANS 13:1 RE-EXAMINED (page 3)


As we have pointed out, his contrast between the Bible and “The Modern Interpretation...” is a straw man.  No credible authority would contend that we must “totally submit.”


Romans 13:1 says, “Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers.  For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.”


Pastor Weiland seems to deny that this has reference to Rome and other unrighteous governments.  However, the fact is that no Christian governments in any form then existed.  The “powers that be” were non-Christian from top to bottom. 


1Pet. 2:13-17 says,

13 Be subject to every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake: whether to the king, as supreme; 14 or unto governors, as sent by him for vengeance on evil-doers and for praise to them that do well. 15 For so is the will of God, that by well-doing ye should put to silence the ignorance of foolish men: 16 as free, and not using your freedom for a cloak of wickedness, but as bondservants of God. 17 Honor all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the king.


The “king as supreme” was non-Christian.  Thus, all attempts to deny that the Bible was calling for obedience to non-Christian governments are futile.


Titus 3:1 says, Put them in mind to be in subjection to rulers, to authorities, to be obedient, to be ready unto every good work.  That was written to Titus in Crete.  Crete was under Roman rule and a pagan king.


It might be objected that some of these rulers were Jewish.  In the first place, Paul was writing to the church in Rome concerning the powers under which they lived, and Peter was writing from “Babylon.”  However, even with regard to the rulers of the Jews who were unrighteous, Jesus said to obey them (Mat. 23:2-3).


On page 14, pastor Weiland attempts to make a case on the Greek words, “ei mee” in Rom. 13:1 to prove that it does not mean every authority (see previous paragraph).  He says,


The second clause of verse 1 of Romans 13 reads: “For there is no power [authority, NASV] but of God.”  The literal translation of the Greek words “ei mh” (ei me)  is “if not.” If we replace the word “but,” as found in the KJV, with the literal translation, this verse would read: Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers.  For there is no power if not of God....


As a Greek teacher, I fail to see how that gives any substantial difference in meaning.  It simply affirms that no power can stand if not of God.  However, God is the one who sets up and removes kings (even unrighteous kings) and therefore there is no power if not of God. 


Dan. 2:17.  God sets up kings and he removes kings.

Dan. 2:37-38.  God gave Nebuchadnezzar, who worshipped pagan gods, his kingdom, power, strength and glory.

Dan. 4:17. The most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will, and setteth up over it the basest of men.


There are many other such scriptures but these are more than sufficient to show that wicked men can and do rule by authority of God.  This is conceded by Pastor Weiland on page 27 where he says  “Clearly, God as Sovereign can and has used the worst of men for His purposes.” 


Thus, as long as God willed for them to continue, anyone who resisted the authority, even of Pagan Rome, resisted God.  It is not enough for us to “guess” that they have no right to rule because we do not approve of them.


Indeed, pastor Weiland’s own citation of Jer. 29:1-14 counters his premise.  God had placed the Jews under the unrighteous government of Babylon and they were to submit and make the best of it until He removed it.  His citations claiming it is our right and even our duty to rebel against unjust governments clearly fail to stand up in the light of scripture.


ROMANS 13:2 RE-EXAMINED (page 15)

2 Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation.


This is plainly saying that, because rulers are in power through the authority of God, therefore those who resist them are resisting God.


Pastor Weiland attacks this conclusion by citing a lot of people in the Bible who resisted various authorities (p.15).  He ignores the obvious fact that if God sets up the powers then His laws supersede them.  Shiprah and Puah (Exodus 1) obeyed the higher law.  There appears to be nothing about disobedience of Amram and Jochebed in pastor Weiland’s second citation (Exodus 2), though Heb. 11:23 says that by faith they did not fear the king’s edict.  Concerning Moses, Heb. 11:24-27 says that what he did was by faith.  And so on through his list.  Nothing is said of them disobeying in areas not in conflict with God’s will.


ROMANS 13:3 RE-EXAMINED (page 20)

For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same:


In an attempt to bolster his case, Pastor Weiland cites 1 Peter 2:13-14.  This seems fatal.  He does not cite the full passage but here it is:

13 Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme; 14 Or unto governors, as unto them that are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers, and for the praise of them that do well. 15 For so is the will of God, that with well doing ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men: 16 As free, and not using your liberty for a cloke of maliciousness, but as the servants of God. 17 Honour all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honour the king.


They were told to submit “to every ordinance of MAN.” These are not confined to ordinances of God.  It is obvious that the kings and governors to which they were to submit were not Christians.


Did not Paul submit to the pagan government of Rome?  When the lower court was unjust he appealed to Caesar, knowing that God could deal with the situation.  The idea that they had no obligation to submit because the Roman government was pagan, is nonsense.


On pages 25-26  pastor Weiland gives us a list of things that he sets forth as God’s standards of a righteous government (p.25-26).  I find some of them somewhat oblique and even clearly beyond any conflict with God’s laws.  Indeed, some of them do not even conflict with our civil laws.


·        Where does our government prohibit anyone from revealing their opinion as to “Israel’s true identity?”

·        What does he mean by “antichrist forces”?  John said the antichrist was at his time already in the world (1John 4:3). 

·        Where in the Bible does it define an “ungodly tax structure?”

·        Where does the Bible establish a basis for determining that limitations on “healing with natural remedies” is a violation of God’s will?  Such regulations by government are necessary to protect innocent people from being exploited by sellers of products that either do not help, or may do serious harm.


ROM. 13:4 RE-EXAMINED (p.27)

For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil.


Again, pastor Weiland sets up his straw man, claiming that modern preachers won’t answer the challenge.  He misrepresents them on this verse as just giving “More Silence.”


The commentaries I read and the preachers I talk to have no problem stating their understanding of this verse.  Perhaps the “silence” to which he refers is their decision to follow Prov. 26:4.


The purpose of rulers is to serve as a minister of God to us for good.  If we do evil we should be afraid for he has the power to use the sword.  God has authorized him to revenge evil and execute wrath upon those that do evil. 


No one contends this gives him the right to do evil.  So, where is the problem? Why the misrepresentation?


The fact that this was written to the Romans and spoken in the present tense, shows that he was speaking of the government under which they lived.


We should also note that chapter 13 is a continuation of the previous chapter, which provides the setting for the statements. The chapter breaks were not in the original. Chapter 12 forbade Christians from avenging themselves (Rom. 12:19). That was the role of God.  In chapter 13 He showed that God provided governments to handle the matter of vengeance upon evil doers. 


One of the purposes God had in setting up the Roman Government was to serve His objectives.  The fact that some do not always do so in no way negates the truth that they rule by virtue of His authority.  That does not give us the right to take it into our hands to rebel against them.  Whether they come to power or are removed from power is in the province of God.


God called Nebuchadrezzar, king of Babylon, “my servant.” (Jer. 25:9; 27:6; 43:10)


He also called Cyrus, king of Persia, “his anointed” (Isa. 45:1).  As Pastor Weiland concedes, God can and has used the worst of men for His purposes.  Amazingly, in the next breath he declares, “however, that has no bearing on the kind of administrators that Paul is describing in his epistle to the Christians in Rome.” 


Why not, pray tell?  That is the answer that pastor Weiland has been ignoring every step of the way.  Roman rulers were sometimes wicked but God ordained that they be obeyed.  Because God authorizes the right to rule, we must be in subjection, with the limitation that they cannot require disobedience to the laws of God.




5 Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake.


Pastor Weiland gives his opinion that this means we must submit only to a “righteous government.” Even if it were possible to find a completely righteous government on the face of the earth, the text says nothing of the kind.


To justify this twist on the text he cites a series of Old Testament characters and holds them up to us as models of rebellion against “unrighteous governments” (p.43).  Pastor Weiland is pretty cautious, but if he means what he says, it seems clear that he is advocating the right, and indeed the duty, of Christians to do what they did.  Most of the cases are examples of not obeying a command that conflicted with God’s will.  However, translating the case of Ehud into modern day terms, are we authorized to take a dagger and assassinate the president?  You better think a lot about where you are going before marching off in the place of God as an avenger for wrath upon evil doers.


ROMANS 13:6 RE-EXAMINED. (page 45)


For this cause pay ye tribute also: for they are God's ministers, attending continually upon this very thing.


Here he has “Pastor Mayhew” speak for him.  Jonathan Mayhew wrote back around 1776, and seems to be his favorite authority for justification of rebellion against the government.


We quote:


Here the apostle argues the duty of paying taxes from this consideration, that those who perform the duty of rulers are continually attending upon the public welfare.  But how does this argument conclude for paying taxes to such princes as are continually endeavoring to ruin the public, and especially when such payment would facilitate and promote this wicked design? [5]


What does this have to do with the kind of taxes God authorizes and whether we are to pay them?


What is the difficulty in understanding the passage?  God authorized Rulers to provide various services.  They do this on a full-time basis.  We are to pay for their service.




Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour.


He repeatedly justifies his anti-tax position on the basis that his tax dollars are used to support “murder, homosexuality, and pornography.”  May we ask, are not taxes “due” to pay for many legitimate services; roads he drives upon; protection by the police from bandits, crooks, and vandals; fire protection; the courts in which he can seek justice; laws that protect his rights; protection by the military forces against outside invaders?


Yes, there are things done by government that are evil, but there are also many things that are good.  Where is the integrity of expecting to benefit at the expense of others?   


If we are not going to pay taxes then we should not have the services.  Stay off of the roads.  Do not call the police or the fire department.  Do not take services when we are in need.  I have known some who would not pay taxes but were right there with their hands out. 


I abhor abuses and excesses, but there are abuses in all things human.  Due to the influence of Christ, we have a government that provides for ways to work to bring about change without throwing things into anarchy.  Rebellion usually increases the problems.  What we need to do is to work together to bring about change.  I believe in lighting a candle rather than cursing the darkness.   




Of major concern with pastor Weiland’s book are attempts to make his case appear valid through distortions of scripture.



Luke 20:22 (page 54)

 Is it lawful for us to give tribute unto Caesar, or no? 23 But he perceived their craftiness, and said unto them, Why tempt ye me? 24 Shew me a penny. Whose image and superscription hath it? They answered and said, Caesar's. 25 And he said unto them, Render therefore unto Caesar the things which be Caesar's, and unto God the things which be God's.


On page 53, Pastor Weiland says “Although many modern Christians claim that Yhshua promoted paying taxes to Caesar when he declared, ‘Render therefore unto Caesar the things which be Caesar’s,’ the context of this verse shows that Yhshua was teaching quite the opposite.”


He reads into it that Jesus did not answer their questions directly because he was not paying taxes, and that those who served God should give their tribute to Him and His administrators! 


However, Jesus said this after making a point that it was Caesar’s image on the coin.  The coin was minted by Caesar and belonged to him.  If Caesar wanted it back, then it was to be returned to him.  This is the only consistent explanation with the other passages that teach payment of taxes.  I don’t like to pay taxes either but the government owns the money, and I owe it to them for the services I receive.


In spite of this, pastor Weiland struggles to make it appear that Romans 13:6-7 does not refer to paying taxes to Rome. To whom else would the people at Rome be paying taxes?  Payments by Christians to the church would certainly not be called “tribute.”


Then, on page 54 he compounds this error by conjecturing that in Matthew 17:24-27, Jesus told Peter to pay the tax, “only so that he would not be proven a liar.” 


Apparently, neither Peter nor Matthew held Mr. Weiland’s “insight.”  When asked by the tax collectors, “Does your master pay tribute?” Peter responded,  “yes.”  Peter, who was there and in a much better situation to know what Jesus did, plainly said that he paid tribute and neither Jesus nor Matthew contradicted that.  Only pastor Weiland makes Peter to be a liar.


This appears to have been the temple tax.  To make the point that, as the son of God, he would properly be exempt, Jesus pointed out that the kings of the earth take custom or tribute of strangers, not their own children.  However, “lest we offend them” (not to keep Peter from being a liar), he tells him to pay the tax. 


Pastor Weiland entirely misses a major point of the lesson.  If, as the Son of God, in order to avoid causing people to stumble, Jesus paid taxes that he did not justly owe, they should do the same.  That strikes squarely at a major problem of anti-tax advocates.  By refusing to pay, they not only may end up in jail, but they disgrace Christ in the eyes of the world.  My answer to those who claim they have no obligation to pay taxes to worldly governments is the same as Jesus answered another fellow who was trying to wiggle around responsibility, “Go thou and do likewise.” (Luke 10:37)



1Peter 5:8-9 (p.65)

The passage says,

 8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:  9 Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.


Pastor Weiland twists this into meaning to resist the government.  He says,

Many people have assumed that the Apostle Peter was alerting Christians to beware of and to resist “Satan.” This is not the case.  The Greek “diabolos” (diabolos), translated “devil,” is the very same Greek word translated “slanderers” and “false accusers” in 1Timothy 3:11, 2Timothy 3:3, and Titus 2:3.  In addition the word translated “adversary” is derived from the Greek “antidikos” (antidikos), which literally means “an opponent (in a lawsuit).”


He then cites Jeremiah 50:17 where the king of Assyria and the king of Babylon are called “lions.”  After making further references to Jeremiah, David, Solomon and Zephaniah as “equate[ing] oppressive tyrants with devouring, roaring lions” he claims, “As a result, it can now be ascertained that the Apostle Peter was describing a despot who opposed Christians at law.” He then concludes that Peter was telling them to resist, Nero! (p. 65-66)


I must say, that is a pretty specious and tangled argument to follow.


In the first place, it assumes that because “devil” (diablos) is the same word sometimes translated “slanderers” and “false accusers” that it must refer to Nero???  His first citation (1 Timothy 3:3) is talking about WIVES!  His second citation (2Tim. 3:3) speaks of the behavior of men, in general, in the last times.  His third citation is speaking about aged women.  --Quite a stretch of the imagination to make diablos refer to Nero, if you ask me!


His case must be very desperate to cite the only three times the word is used in a descriptive way and ignore the fact that diablos is 35 TIMES TRANSLATED, “DEVIL.”  May we then conclude that it was Nero who tempted Jesus? (Mat. 4:1)  Since Pastor Weiland argues that 1Pet. 5:9 says they were being told to “resist” the devil (Nero), shall we conclude that when James also says, “Resist the devil and he will flee from you” (4:7) he is speaking of Nero???


He then tries to prop up his faltering claim with the contention that the word, “adversary” (antidikos), also found in 1Peter 5:8, which means, “an opponent (in a lawsuit), must refer to Nero.  This word is found four times in the New Testament.  In addition to 1Peter, Matthew 5:25 says to agree with your adversary (antidikos) before he takes you to court and has you cast into Prison.  Luke 12:58 speaks of the same thing.  Luke 18:3 tells about a widow who takes her adversary (antidikos) to court.  –A pretty slim basis for viewing this as referring to Nero.  Certainly the devil is called, our “accuser,” itself a legal term.


Rev. 12:9 And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil [diablos], and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him. 10 And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.


The word, “accuser” is the Greek word, katērgoreō, which Thayer’s Lexicon says, “to accuse, before a judge.”  Does the fact that this is a legal term identify this also as speaking of Nero?


His examples of rulers likened to devouring lions to prove that 1Peter 5:8-9 is speaking of Nero, are irrelevant.  Many things are likened to lions besides rulers. 

Hosea 13:7. God is likened to a devouring lion. 

Ezek. 22:25. Some prophets were likened to a roaring devouring lion. 

Proverbs 28:1. The righteous are likened to a lion. 

Deut. 33:20. Gad is like a tearing lion. 

Rev. 5:5.  Jesus is spoken of as a lion.


This kind of reasoning would be humorous, were it not for the seriousness of what pastor Weiland is suggesting.




Romans 6:16 (page 33)


Know ye not, that to whom ye present yourselves as servants unto obedience, his servants ye are whom ye obey....?


Pastor Weiland says,

The principle of Paul’s warning is self-evident: Anyone who submits to the ungodly decrees of men becomes a slave of men.  On the other hand, if a government is a “minister of God,” that is, if it is carrying out God’s will, then submission to such a government is simply submission to God Himself.  Submission to ungodly decrees is rebellion to God, and it transgresses God’s mandate;


Pastor Weiland has conveniently omitted the rest of the sentence that clarifies what Paul is talking about.


“...whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?”


It is simply amazing how much some people can milk things not taught in a text to save a destitute case.  All that we have here is an illustration of the need to quit serving sin.  It says nothing of whether we should obey civil governments




1Cor. 6:1-6 (page 38)


Pastor Weiland says:


“It is obvious that the Apostle Paul did not regard the civil authorities of his day as consonant with the magnanimous government he described in Romans 13.  Otherwise he would never have told the Corinthian Christians to avoid their jurisdiction:


“1 Dare any of you [as a Christian], having a matter against another, go to law before the unjust [non-Christian judiciary system], and not before the saints? 2 Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? and if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters? 3 Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life? 4 If then ye have judgments of things pertaining to this life, set them to judge who are least esteemed in the church. 5 I speak to your shame. Is it so, that there is not a wise man among you? no, not one that shall be able to judge between his brethren? 6 But brother goeth to law with brother, and that before the unbelievers. (1 Corinthians 6:1)


“Note especially that the Apostle Paul was not only dissuading Christians from depending on the ungodly courts of his day, but he was also chiding them for having not formed their own civic body politic, one in accord with verse 3 and 4 of Romans 13. “


The passage has nothing to do with whether the civil courts were ungodly.  At issue is the matter of making a spectacle of their differences before unbelievers.  Even if they could have received a fair trial, lawsuits between Christians in public courts would have been a stumbling block to outsiders.


The claim that this intends for Christians to set up “their own civic body politicis absurd.  He is clearly speaking of an internal ecclesiastical function.




1.   In a footnote on page 30 he maintains that God’s laws have not changed. 

ANSWER: We could go into this extensively but his claim is shown in error by the following passage.


Hebrews 7:12. 12 For the priesthood being changed, there is made of necessity a change also of the law.


2.   “Atrocities” of our present government. (page 34)


·        Enslaving us by means of a counterfeit monetary system. (p.34)


He gives no details but this smacks of the old anti-tax theme that the government has illegally created its money and therefore it is worthless.


My first response is that those who toot this horn seem very willing to take this “illegal tender” however they can get it, and are quite satisfied that the rest of us “dupes” will accept it in exchange for products and services from them. If he thinks money is counterfeit then he should be consistent and not use it. To claim he does not have to pay taxes because it is “illegal,” and then take or use it to pay others, seems a little hypocritical.


Secondly, whether or not it is legal from a governmental standpoint is not a Biblical issue.  God did not say what should be used for exchange, what texture it was to have, what inscription should be on it, or how much the government could charge.


·        “Maintaining an unbiblical and confiscatory tax on our land and property.” (p.34)



Since God never defined the kind of taxes governments are to levy, we are hard pressed to see any validity to the claim of pastor Weiland that the tax is “unbiblical.” Whatever it is, we have only the good pastor’s word that it is an “atrocity.”


·        Banning alternative methods of healing, and persecuting the practitioners.” (p.34)



Here again, we are at a loss to know what scripture would make regulating and restricting methods of healing and the conduct of  “practitioners” an “atrocity.”  Would pastor Weiland have the general populace left open to every predatory quack who wants to milk human sufferers for their last farthing?  The system is not perfect but if it were not for government requirements for verification of claims on products, it could be a whole lot worse. 


Pastor Weiland concludes his list with this statement:


Are these the actions of a “minister of God to [us] for good”?  If not, then our current government is not the kind described in Romans 13”


No, in fact the Roman government was worse.  However they were told to obey it.


From my perspective, one of the most serious problems with his book is the many misrepresentations.


A first-class sample can be found on page 47.


Men are stricken in their consciences for different reasons.  One man believes he should not pay (income) taxes (although in certain situations he may have no alternative) because his tax dollars are used to support murder, homosexuality, and pornography.  Another man believes he should pay this tax, even though he is aware that his money is being used for the same purposes.   Both men are conscience stricken for the same reason; because of the god whom they serve.  The first man is stricken in his conscience because his God, YHWH, has declared these acts abominations.  The second man is stricken because his god, government, commands him to pay.  Each man is stricken to serve the god of his conscience.


The accusation that those who pay taxes make government their god is an outright fabrication.  Jesus said of dishonesty, 

 Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it. (John 8:44)


I doubt by “devil” that he was talking about Nero!




I cannot, from the remotest perspective, view this book as having any credible value as a commentary, or even as a reliable analysis of the subject.  It has no objectivity.  It misrepresents what others believe.  It distorts the scriptures.  It insults reason.  And, it furthers the kind of misguided thinking that will destroy those who pursue it.


Ralph Johnson


[1] Ralph Johnson is a graduate of Midwestern School of Evangelism with BSL and BTh degrees.  He was founding Evangelist of the Glen Acres Church of Christ, 11401 10th Ave. South, Seattle Washington (1954) and continues as a paid Elder.  Ralph is also one of the founders and teachers in Seattle Christian College, a small unaccredited institution, since 1978.

[2] Christian Leadership Bible College was a small unaccredited school that began September 1, 1975 and graduated one student before it disbanded in 1978.  (Information provided by Bill Paul, one of the founders and teachers in that school.)

[3] The classic “bible” of this theory was “Judah’s Sceptre and Joseph’s Birthright,” 1902, by J. H. Allen.  It contends that the Anglo-Saxon race is “Israel,” God’s chosen covenant people.  

[4] The “Protocols” is purported to be a series of secret meeting of Zionists held at Basle, Switz., in 1897, at the time of the first Zionist congress in which they plotted to take over the world. 

The document is entirely spurious with no verifying evidence.  It was developed by the Russian Secret Police from a satire by Maurice Joly on Napoleon III published in 1864.  

[5] Quoted from a book by John Wingate Thornton, 1970, called, “The Pulpit of the American Revolution.” This book seems to be the bible of this sort of thinking from which he draws many such quotations to bolster his case.