I have this theory. I’m pretty sure someone else has proposed it, but maybe it hasn’t been phrased in this way. Here goes: “Everyone obeys.” Shocker, right? Let me explain.
When we obey God’s laws, we obey God. When we obey the laws of the government, we obey the government. But what about when we choose to disobey God or choose to disobey the government? I submit that when we choose to disobey God or the government, it’s because we’re choosing to obey… ourselves! Either that, or we’re obeying someone else besides God or the government.
So in sum, everyone obeys… even those who disobey. Those who disobey are actually just obeying their own law.
But wait, it gets a little more complicated! What about those who do things that count as obedience to God’s laws and their own laws? Or those who do things that count as obedience to the laws of the government and their own laws? There are several more combinations, but you get the point. When you break it down further, obedience is no longer an issue of duty, but motive.
So, how do you know who you’re obeying from the heart? Can we be convinced that we’re obeying God when we’re actually obeying ourselves, others, or the government? Also, if everyone always obeys, what does that say about free will?