I'll comment on a few statements by pacifist Preston Sprinkle's post:
Adolf Hitler, Idi Amin, and other “Christian” dictators have celebrated the passage as their divine ticket to execute justice on whomever they deemed enemies of the state.
i) What does Sprinkle mean when he uses the adjective "Christian" to modify Hitler and Idi Amin? Is he saying they viewed themselves as Christian? Is he saying Germans and Ugandans viewed them as Christian? Whose perspective does that adjective reflect?
Idi Amin persecuted Christians. Martyred Christians.
As for Hitler, certainly the signatories to the Barmen Declaration didn't view Nazism as Christian. Neither did Adolf Schlatter.
If Sprinkle doesn't think they were Christian, then what is the force of the adjective? How does that contribute to his argument? What is the function of the adjective in case they were not Christian? Does he mean they were misusing the passage in the name of Christianity? Yet his language indicates that their appropriation was sincere ("celebrated the passage as their divine ticket...").
ii) What evidence does he have that Hitler and Idi Amin thought Rom 13 justified their policies? Can he quote them on that? Where's the documentation?
Suppose Rom 13 didn't exist. In the absence of Rom 13, would Hitler and Idi Amin refrain from "executing justice" on whoever they deemed to be enemies of the state?
So, third, Paul says that God executes vengeance through Rome after he prohibits Christians from doing so.
Paul prohibits Christian private citizens from so doing. Of course, at the time of writing, few if any Christians held high office.
Romans 13 is all about vengeance. And vengeance is God’s business, not ours. We don’t need to avenge evil, because God will. And one way that God will is through governing authorities.
That's contradictory. On the one hand he says: "Romans 13 is all about vengeance. And vengeance is God’s business, not ours. We don’t need to avenge evil, because God will. "
On the other hand, he says, immediately thereafter, "one way that God will is through governing authorities."
But in that event, it's a false dichotomy to say "Rom 13 is all about vengeance, and that's God's business, not ours–we don't need to avenge evil, because God will." For he admits that in some measure, God delegates that task to humans. Is Sprinkle so carried away by the momentum of his pacifistic rhetoric that he doesn't bother to be logical or factual?