A Facebook acquaintance, with a penchant for conflating libertarianism with atheism and anarchy, opined:
Rarely does a Libertarian identify government as "the ministry of God to thee for good." Rather, they make government their enemy.
While it is false that libertarians “make government their enemy,” it is true that Romans 13:4 speaks of God and government. Paul says that the civil magistrate is “God’s minister to you for good.” But what does this mean?
Is this a universal truth—no exceptions? Does the Bible actually teach that all governments are God’s servants for the well-being of those they rule? I think not.
Consider the administration of a king named Manasseh.
Manasseh seduced them to do more evil than the nations whom the LORD had destroyed before the children of Israel. And the LORD spoke by His servants the prophets saying, “Because Manasseh king of Judah has done these abominations . . . I am bringing such calamity upon Jerusalem and Judah, that whoever hears of it, both his ears will tingle (2Kings 21:9-12).
This is hardly a ringing endorsement for Manasseh’s government. Sadly, he is far from the exception. “And he [the king] did evil in the sight of the LORD” is a recurring theme of Israel’s and Judah’s kings. These were in no sense “ministers of God to you for good.” Rather, such governments are evil and they bring disaster upon their subjects.
It’s also quite difficult to understand how the beastly government of Revelation 13 is God’s minister for good.
It was granted to him [the beast] to make war with the saints and to overcome them. And authority was given him over every tribe, tongue, and nation (v.7).
And what of Hitler…Stalin…Frank Underwood?
No. The Bible is much too honest and nuanced to endorse a simplistic “all government is good” slogan. The Statist prayer: “Government is good, Government is great” is nowhere in sacred scripture.
Because all government is obviously not good, I favor government with limited powers.
That government is best which governs least,
because its people discipline themselves.
~attributed to Thomas Jefferson