Authority in Romans 13:1 – 7: its relevance to the chiefs and people of Gomoa Traditional Area in the Central Region of Ghana

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The authority of rulers be it political, traditional or religious, is ordained by God for the good of their subjects. Subjects have to submit to their rulers, and refusing to do so is a rebellion against God. In this study, authority in Romans 13:1-7 is examined with particular attention to the chief and people of Gomoa Traditional Area. The study discussed authority using Romans 13:1-7 as a base and its relevance to traditional set ups. This study was largely done through interviews conducted by the researcher and his assistants with some chiefs, elders, church leaders and citizens of the study area. Also, biblical commentaries, handbooks as well as other relevant documents were consulted. The research has shown that Romans 13:1-7 – submission to authority - was not for Christians in Rome alone, but for Christians and non-Christians in and outside Rome. The relevance of the text cuts across all cultures including that of Gomoa. The study recommends that citizens of Gomoa Traditional Area recognize their rulers as people ordained by God – who is the source of all authority – for their good. Mutual respect, trust understanding and co-operation from both governing authorities and subjects in a state or traditional area always bring peace and for that matter development, and must be upheld.
A thesis submitted to the Board of Postgraduate Studies, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of the Degree of Master of Philosophy in Religious Studies, 2011