Romans 13:1 Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.
Like a lot of scripture the above verse can be troublesome or, depending on your disposition, it can be a godsend. For centuries past it has been the justification for so called divine monarchies, those who ruled over others without restraint because they were appointed by God and could do no wrong as the divine ruler. None familiar with that history can miss the influence that this idea that some men ruled at the Will of God had on our own national history and founding.
As for the institutional church of Christian Orthodoxy, they typically cling to the above idea on the one hand but simultaneously ascribe to the notion that a future ruler, known as the Anti-Christ, will wreak havoc on the earth and herald in a cataclysmic divine destruction. Having two diametrically opposed prophecies about human leadership allows the church to pick and choose between leaders, supporting some as God’s anointed and condemning others as the Anti-Christ.
I guess if God chooses and appoints the rulers who operate under Romans 13:1, he must also choose and appointed those who operate as anti-Christs in accordance with I John 2:18. Actually. I suspect it is the church that does the choosing, supporting those rulers who serve as enforcers of church doctrine and condemning any who question it.
If humanity is still beholden to human emissaries appointed by God, be they religious or political leaders, we are in sad shape indeed. Humans are indeed flawed, so paying them homage as God’s voice or guide is itself a flawed idea. Whatever Paul may have meant in speaking to the Romans, it is each of us, an imperfect individual who must decide which way Christ would lead us spiritually and politically, not some so called anointed one.