Christians and the Government

Moses and Aaron with the Ten Commandments (painting circa 1675 by Aron de Chavez)

Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God.

Romans 13:1.

An interesting document was recovered in recent years in the archives of the city of Mulhouse in Eastern France. Here is a translation of it:

“We, the mayor and Council of the city of Mulhouse proclaim to all and everyone, both clergy and lay persons, that a Christian is bound to the Word of God and that he is obliged to lead his life in conformity with what is contained therein. Seeing that for some time that truth of the gospel has been revealed more powerfully and clearly, we should render thanks with all our heart to our Saviour Jesus Christ, by whom this grace has been granted to us.

Seeing that, as Christians we are obliged to observe the Word of God and, as far as possible, to safeguard Christian unity, so that love and agreement flourish among us, we have decided unanimously, after mature deliberation, and also wish that our priests and clergy teach and preach nothing but the holy gospel and the doctrine of Christ, or all that is contained in the Old and New Testament, and that they withhold any teaching that does not correspond to Holy Scripture. In this way the fruit of the divine Word will be able to increase richly and in all its diversity.

May everyone adhere to these regulations.

Signed and given under our seal, Wednesday after St. James’s Day in the year 1523.”

Image: By Aron de Chaves \ de Chavez. (Painter at Amsterdam in 1700.)The original uploader was F67HGBVN at Hebrew Wikipedia. – Sephardi community in London, Public Domain,