Respect the Office

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It was not too long after the 2016 election. While the nation began to realize who would be the next leader for at least four years, there were those who would not accept it. The phrase #notmypresident quickly spread across the internet and televisions as there were people who refused to accept the results of the election. Here we are now some two years later, and our media still wages the great crusade against Donald Trump.

If you were to do a Google search using his name, you would find articles such as “A Psychologist Analyzes Donald Trump’s Personality”. I need to be clear. I do not condone everything that our current president does. As a Christian, there are always going to be different policies and acts that I take issue with. However, when we had presidents that I personally would not have voted for serving in office, I respected them.

What does the Bible have to say about this matter? After all, our Lord lived long before America was in existence. So how could He possibly have anything valuable to add to respecting the offices in our government? We do not have kings ruling America, but we do have those that are in authority. Yet, our country still has rulers. We have higher powers, both local and statewide. What then is our responsibility? American Christians have an incredible task when it comes to government.  Consider the following points:

#1.  Christians must respect the office. A study of the kings is not one full of goodness. In fact, many kings in the Bible were wicked. Consider for a moment Daniel. Do you ever see Daniel disrespecting the leaders of Babylon? No, not even when Daniel was informing those wicked Kings about their coming punishment (Daniel 2, 5). Daniel always gave respect: “O, King.” It could have been said by Daniel: #notmyking. Yet, he understood that while that leader was not the one he wanted, it was the one he needed to respect.

#2. Christians must pray for the office. When Timothy is informed by Paul to pray for kings and all those in authority, it was not a suggestion (1 Timothy 2:1-3). It was a command that God told Paul that all must do. “But I do not like this president, mayor, or governor.” Guess what? Neither do I condone or like every one of our leaders, but they still need Jesus (Romans 3:23). Yet, if we pray for them to learn the truth, they have a greater chance with righteous people praying (James 5:16). Whether you like them or not, you must pray for them.

#3. Christians must obey the office. Again, we need to understand that Romans 13 is not a suggestion. The same writer of First Timothy penned the book of Romans and said the following about Government: “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. Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation” (Romans 13:1-2). When we choose to speed or make a rolling stop, we are disobeying the law. The very law that God put into place so that we could have order. Now, I will be the first to admit that I myself have at times sped and broken this land’s law. It is my job to make the changes necessary to obey the office. What about when they are asking for or doing wicked things? I believe the answer is found in Ephesians 6:1-3. The Lord says that children are to obey their parents in the Lord. We too must obey the office when they ask for things that are in order with God’s word.

The next time you want to post something on Facebook that is negative about our leaders, how about you pray for the leader(s) instead? The next time we are faced with the decision of following our leaders or not, let’s remember what Paul stated: “Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake” (Romans 13:5).