In the last few days, we have learned that Robert Jeffress, the head of the First Baptist Church - a megachurch - in Dallas, Texas stated that God has given Donald Trump the authority to "take out" Kim Jong-un, the Supreme Leader of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, commonly known as North Korea. Mr. Jeffress cites a passage from the 13th chapter of Paul's Letter to the Romans as the basis for this authority. He states that the passage allows rulers to use “whatever means necessary ― including war ― to stop evil.”
The text is found in the first and second verses, and reads thus, in the NRSV translation:
Let every person be subject to the governing authorities; for there is no authority except from God, and those authorities that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore whoever resists authority resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment.
There are a few things I would like to say about this text to Mr. Jeffress. The first thing is that the idea that all those in authority have been appointed by God would extend to other countries as well, not only the United States. Using the same passage of Scripture, we will find the HRH Queen Elizabeth II is appointed by God as Sovereign Ruler over her people. In fact, if you look at the history of the British monarchy and the coronation ceremony, you will discover that appointment by God is an intrinsic part of it.
Likewise, the duly elected or appointed leader of any country should be considered as having been appointed by God. This includes North Korea. This is the first thing you need to consider.
The next thing I would ask you to do is read the Chapter 12 of Paul's Letter to the Romans. Chapter 12 is the one that precedes Chapter 13, the first two verses of which you cite as God's authority to "take out" the God-appointed leader of another country. Remember also that Chapters and Verses are a relatively late addition to the Bible, and that Paul's letter is just that - a letter. If you write a really long letter to someone, do you break it up into verses, or chapters? Probably not.
With this in mind, read carefully what Paul says to the Romans just before he admonishes them about respecting authority. He provides us with what defines a true Christian: " Let love be genuine; hate what is evil, hold fast to what is good; love one another with mutual affection; outdo one another in showing honor. Do not lag in zeal, be ardent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient in suffering, persevere in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints; extend hospitality to strangers. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with one another; do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly; do not claim to be wiser than you are. Do not repay anyone evil for evil, but take thought for what is noble in the sight of all. If it is possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave room for the wrath of God; for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” No, “if your enemies are hungry, feed them; if they are thirsty, give them something to drink; for by doing this you will heap burning coals on their heads.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
You may have noticed that I emphasized certain passages. Now according what you stated about God giving authority through Paul to "take out" the leader of another country, it is quite evident that Paul actually condemns what you say.
Now I would like for you to read what Paul writes and the end of the 13th chapter of his Letter to the Romans: "Owe no one anything, except to love one another; for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law. The commandments, “You shall not commit adultery; You shall not murder; You shall not steal; You shall not covet”; and any other commandment, are summed up in this word, “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore, love is the fulfilling of the law."
Again, I have emphasized select passages that once again demonstrate that Paul condemns your position.
Now I would like to turn your attention to the teachings of Jesus, teachings which supersede those of Paul. Jesus teaches us first and foremost to love God with all our being, and secondly we must love our neighbour as ourselves. In Luke's Gospel, Jesus tells us to love our enemies and to good to those who hate us. Jesus all says this in Matthew's Gospel as well. The New Testament letters of Peter and James say this as well. If we turn to the Old Testament, we find the same admonition several times in the book of Proverbs.
It seems clear, Mr. Jeffress, that based on what Paul teaches us about the hallmarks of a true Christian, that you are not one. Not only does Paul condemn your position, so do the other Apostles, and so does Jesus himself. It appears that you do not know what God's love is all about. Throughout Holy Scripture, God repeatedly tells us to love our enemies; God tells us this through the Old Testament prophets, as well as through Jesus and the Apostles and through Paul. God's teaching on this is clear: DO NOT return evil for evil; instead, return good for evil, and do NOT seek revenge.
Mr.Jeffress, if God's teaching is so abundantly clear, why do you reject it? Why do you preach and endorse the exact opposite of what Scripture teaches? And how - since you reject the teaching of Jesus and of Scripture - do you justify describing yourself as a Christian? A follower of Jesus you most definitely are not. If being a Christian means to reject the teachings of Jesus and of Scripture about loving our enemies, then I give thanks to God that I am not a Christian! I would much rather follow the teachings of Jesus than to follow the teachings of Christians like yourself.