Martin Luther on Rulers

In recent days, many evangelical leaders have claimed that Donald Trump was divinely appointed, based on Romans 13. Needless to say, they forgot that when Barack Obama was president. It turns out that these Protestant leaders also forgot the teachings of Martin Luther, their spiritual godfather.

Luther accepted Romans 13, like virtually everything that Paul wrote. But in his book Temporal Authority, he found a way to get around it: “the world is too wicked and does not deserve to have many wise and upright princes.” He continued, “Since the beginning of the world, a wise prince is a mighty rare bird, and an upright prince even rarer. They are generally the biggest fools or the worst scoundrels on earth” (cited in Alec Ryrie, Protestants, p. 48).

Luther’s description of “most rulers” seems to be a far better fit for President Trump. Those evangelicals should spend more time on theology and less on demagogy.


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