Why We Should Honor All Those in Authority Over Us!
“And seek the peace of the city whither I have caused you to be carried away captives, and pray unto the LORD for it: for in the peace thereof shall ye have peace” (Jeremiah 29:7).
Why Should We Seek Peace with those Who have the Rule Over Us.
In this passage Jeremiah is exhorting the Israelites to pray for the city to which they have been carried away captive. Why would he do that? “. . . for in the peace thereof shall ye have peace”; it cannot be explained any clearer that!
How Do Believers Dishonor the Ordained of God?
Christian, this applies to us, not to the unsaved! I want to address a wrong I observe constantly on Social Media, and frequently hear out in public; and, I am ashamed to say, sometimes coming from my own mouth. What is this “wrong” – it is the reproachful manner in which we express our disfavor for our elected and non-elected officials. First, let me provide you the definition of “reproachful”. Webster’s 1828 dictionary defines it this way, “1. Expressing censure with contempt; scurrilous; opprobrious; as reproachful words. 2. Shameful; bringing or casting reproach; infamous; base; vile; as reproachful conduct; a reproachful life.” Let me ask you this; is “contempt” towards our officials a Christ like characteristic, one Christ would approve of? No!
I myself have made very disparaging remarks about the likes of Nancy Pelosi, Maxine Waters, Diane Feinstein, Ted Cruz, President Obama, Marco Rubio, and many others, Republicans and Democrats alike; and yes, even President Trump when he was running in the 2016 Primaries. Guess what! I was in the wrong! Our attitude towards our leaders must be that which the Apostle Paul suggests (rather strongly I might add), to “Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour (Romans 13:7). And why exactly must we extend deference to our leaders? Because God’s word says to, “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” (Romans 13:1). Good, bad, or indifferent, these people are “ordained of God” and should be esteemed accordingly.
Is there a “Line in the Sand”
There is a proverbial line in the sand which we must not cross; for instance, we do not have to agree with their policies, lifestyles, moral attributes, their various ideologies, nor do we even have to like them (however, we must love them as does the Lord). For example, the Democrat Party stands on a platform (their policies regarding various social, religious, and economic matters) which is antithetical to Christian doctrine. We should never, as Christians, align ourselves with political bodies or politicians who stand on such platforms. To show solidarity with such is to declare war on our own moral directive (the Bible) and our God. We are told “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? What communion hath light with darkness? (II Corinthians 6:14). Folks, there is nothing so dark as a document which declares a bodies support and provision for the slaughter of unwanted children; or which makes mockery of and defiles a holy union defined by God Himself as one that is to be exclusively between one man and one woman.
What about those Rulers Who are Given over Completely to Darkness?
Even those politicians who have turned to darkness are to be shown respect by those of us who are wholly opposed to the policies to which they cling. Why? Because God’s word says, “I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for ALL that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty” (I Timothy 2:1-2). We are to lift them up in prayer, intercede for them, and give thanks to God for them. We all, Christian and non-Christian, Republican and Democrat have a failing grade in this department. I have heard others say that this only applies when those ruling over us are good, Godly men and women; however, we must keep in mind who ruled over Israel when Paul and Timothy wrote their exhortations – it was the Romans! The Romans were not Godly by any stretch of the imagination.
What Recourse is Available to Americans, and Believers Specifically?
In America we have been blessed by our founding fathers, and most significantly, by God with a governmental system which allows us every two to six years to remove Godless and ineffectual leaders and replace them with citizens we believe might rule more effectively, who have better judgement, and most significantly – who FEAR GOD. However, while those less notable individuals remain in power we must pray for and honor them whether or not we agree with their political ideologies.
We MUST obey this exhortation “for in the peace thereof shall [we] have peace”.