A Community of Misfits on a Mission

From Zeal to Hospitality

Romans 13 is a famous text that has been used as a proof-text to justify state-sponsored violence for millennia. By reading Romans “backwards” (in light of the conflict between the factions in the house churches of Rome), we can more clearly see Paul’s purpose for writing this passage. Rather than sanctioning state-sponsored violence, Paul was transforming the zeal of the so-called “Weak” into love, honor, and hospitality. Paul was also reminding the disciples in Rome of Jesus’s teachings of enemy-love and love of neighbor.