ISOCF: Legalism - Opponent of Christian Freedom, pp. 271, 272.
The "sword" of the superior authority in Paul's day was the military, for there was no separate police force operative in his time. The purpose of the Roman army in Palestine was to maintain the Pax Romana, and in doing so it served particularly as a force for peace and order, taking action against lawbreakers. It may be noted that in Paul's own experience it was the military that rescued him from the angry mob in the temple area. It was the military that protected him from an assassination plot and provided him safe conduct to Caesarea. [footnote 43: Acts 21:35-40; 23:16-33.] To this day, military forces are often more active in maintenance of law and order in times of crisis than they are in warfare. In the Dominican Republic during my years of service there, many occasions arose where the danger of riots and violence got beyond police control and it was the military forces that were then brought in to serve as the prime peacekeepers. While one may rightly feel conscientious objections to the wrongs involved in military agression and bloodshed and to participate in these, that does not justify a refusal to recognize any beneficial service performed by military forces or provide the basis for categorizing everything connected with the military as inherently, automatically and totally bad, so that any contact therewith is contaminating, making one bloodguilty.
The same is true of politics. It is easy to convert this term into a synonym for all the unsavory aspects appearing in human rule. The divisiveness and selfish ambition typical of much political campaigning, with its slurs and smears, along with the hypocrisy, corruption, and tyrrany that are all too often to be found in political systems, can be used by this equation to classify as automatically bad anything to which the term "political" can be attached. It is this same blanket condemnation and categorization that produced the organization's policy in Malawi with its calamitious results. [footnote 44: See CRISIS OF CONSCIENCE, pages 112-116.] But the politics basically means GOVERNMENT [emphasis: R.F.] and the Scriptures teach that government definitely has a beneficial aspect.