Respect Authority

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AM talk radio has become my friend. By the grace of the Lord, I’ve been given the type of employment that requires outdoor work, despite the weather conditions. Needless to say, I spend a significant amount of time inside a company vehicle, during a regular workday. I’ve taken to flipping back and forth between stations 560 (WRDT AM560 – The Word) and 1500 (WLQV AM1500) to get my daily fix of uplifting and honest discussions revolving around the Bible and its principles. Between the two stations, I listen to sermons delivered by powerful men of God: Dr. Michael Youssef, Dr. R.C. Sproul, Dr. Woodrow Kroll, Paster David Washington, Pastor John MacArthur, and Alistair Begg to name a few. Despite the gamut of denominations represented, God always gives a good message through these speakers and I find it refreshing to be able to bone up on my bible studies through the Word given by these men.

So here comes my issue. I’m not going to make any friends here, but I really don’t care. Every radio station has to pay bills, and usually this entails the use of commercials and guest commentary spots in between programs. Unfortunately, I find a lot of these commercials lean toward the political agenda. With a bad economy, gas prices sky rocketing, and unemployment at record highs, the majority of these politically charged commercials have the cross-hairs squared at the presidency. I find it a bit unsettling that Barack Obama is public enemy no. 1, for so many Christians. While I understand that every person is entitled to his or her own opinion, is it not wrong of the Christian community to openly bash the elected leadership of our country? That’s a genuine question in need of an answer, people.

Now, the bible gives plenty of scripture instructing the faithful to obey authority, so there is no need for me to prove what the bible says. If you doubt, look it up for yourself. It also supports turning away from practices that are not biblically sound, in accordance with the teachings of Jesus. The bible’s not the source of my grief here. My beef is with the behavior of the body of Christ today. We all hear it wherever we go:

“He’s a Muslim. We need to get him out of office!”

“He supports abortion. We need to get him out of office!”

“He supports the gays. We need to get him out of office!”

“Obama-Care is so enigmatic; our own lawmakers can’t even decipher it. We need to get him out of office!”

“He’s black.” Yes, I’ve actually heard that one. “We need to get him out of office!”

“He’s too liberal for our conservative tastes. We need to get him out of office!”

“We need to get him out of office! I’ll think of a reason why, later.”

The punch-line is this is all Christian talk!

“Really?” You say.

“YES!” I reply.

You know…back in the day of Jesus walking the earth, there was a conservative group interested in adhering strictly to and conserving the teachings of the law of the past. They were called the Pharisees. They often approached the Lord with smiling faces, while plotting to kill him in their hearts. Today, we have conservative Christians who would eagerly walk up to shake the president’s hand, while secretly plotting to overthrow his command in their hearts. And therein lies the root of my problem: double-mindedness.  

Look, if you didn’t vote for the guy, that’s fine, Mr. Christian. But he was voted in. He’s the power of authority. He’s not in office commanding the citizenry to blatantly disobey the Lord, so we have a responsibility to follow his lead honorably; no back-talk involved. After all, honorable obedience is the trait that sets us apart from the world at large, isn’t it?

If you don’t want the guy back in office for another term, don’t vote for him, Mrs. Christian. But given the choices so far, he’s probably going to win another term to finish what he started. Jesus never once…never ONCE…blasphemed against Caesar. I’m pretty sure he didn’t approve of Caesar’s self-opinion. Caesar did consider himself a god. Our Lord simply paraphrased, “give him his due”. In other words, respect authority. And that was all he had to say about that.

I don’t know about you, but I believe my Lord was a liberal activist. His choices weren’t very popular, but he acted on them anyway. And, whether His decisions were right or wrong, the disciples followed His authority, trusting that God was in control. It is my humble opinion, that the Lord charges us with the task of following the example set forth by His disciples: following authority.

I had some serious egotistical issues about writing and publishing this piece. I’m no theologian. But I’d like to think I have a grasp on the no-brainer commands, as I continue to study the Word. As I wrote and questioned my own motives, something occurred to me. Out of all the doctors and pastors I mentioned above, I’ve never heard one of them openly criticize our president. Catholic, Calvinist, Lutheran, and Pentecostal denominations aside, not one of them has publically chastised our president. You want to know why? I think it’s because they have an understanding of the bible that some of us tend to forget: Respect authority. That’s it. Simple; plain; easy.

Brothers and sisters, if my president is really up to no good, God’s the only one allowed to pass judgment on this man. We are not given the go-ahead to climb up on our pedestals, grab our bull horns and condemn the man. As Christians, if we truly dis-like what he stands for, God instructs us to pray for him. I will insert one bible verse here. The Pharisees wanted to stone a prostitute to death, who was caught in the act of adultery. According to John 8:7, “They kept demanding an answer, so he (Jesus) stood up again and said, ‘All right, but let the one who has never sinned throw the first stone!’” How many among us are blameless? How many of us are righteous enough to shout out blasphemes against another man, without fear of the Lord’s retribution?   

I voted for Barack Obama. I’m not excited about all the choices my president has made during his term, but if it were an easy job, I’d probably be running the White House. He is my authority, given power by God himself. As such, I will respect his authority. I will not complain about his methods and beliefs behind his back. I’ll most likely vote for him again, despite what the general public thinks of him; Christian and non-Christian alike. My ultimate plan is to obey the Lord’s commands. If Mr. Obama swings farther left than Jesus approves of, then guess what? God’s going to step in; not man. For all your loud banter and empty yelling Mr. ultra-conservative, the only thing you’re proving is your disobedient nature. For all of your hate-mongering against the elected president, Mrs. Uber-conservative, you too are spitting in the face of our Lord.

My advice is simple: get back to the bible and fall in line with the Lord. He sees all, and he knows all. Respect authority.        
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