A good thing?
What shall I do with Romans 13?
In particular what shall a Christian in those countries make of Romans 13 and other passages which speak of a humble respectful view of those in government - no matter who they are? "The authorities that exist have been established by God. Consequently, he who rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted.." (verses 2-3). If anyone lived under tyrannical regimes, it was the first Christians, and no-where do we find them rebelling against their rulers.
Instead we find a submissive spirit "Submit yourselves for the Lord's sake to every authority instituted among men: whether to the king...or to governors.." (1 Peter 2:13) and again, "Remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities." (Titus 3:1).
The blunt fact of the matter is that the Scriptures do not sanction one form of secular government over another. For good reasons. All world systems are flawed root and branch - but in different directions. Although democracies may be easier on the body, they may be far more lethal to the soul. While dictatorships may be more difficult on the body, they may in fact prove more beneficial to the soul, for in those environments, true faith in Christ shines and the great multitude of false ones wither and die.
Scriptures, instead of espousing any political system, view all authorities (dictatorships and democracies) as appointed by the Supreme and Sovereign King of Kings and Lord of Lords.
Grabbing the ear of the Dog
The great danger in the present situation for the West (I almost wrote 'us', forgetting that I refuse to be called a westerner) is to become involved in a dispute that has nothing to do with them and reap the fruit of Proverbs 26:17, "Like one who grabs a stray dog by the ears is someone who rushes into a quarrel not their own."
For this set of disputes may turn out to be, not an Arab Spring, but just an old-fashioned Winter of Rebellion.