Read 1 Peter 2
Could there be any more appropriate words to greet us two days after the election? In the face of an over-abundance of persecution, Peter reminds his fellow believers that, while God is the ultimate authority, we are also called to submit to human authorities and to respect both our leaders and each other.
…in this election cycle, we have failed at this…
You know, there has been a profound outcry from some in the Christian community against Donald Trump because of his “foolishness.” Indeed, the Donald, in his candidacy, fit the Biblical description of a fool almost too perfectly.
There has also been an outcry from others in the Christian community against Hillary Clinton. Scripture has a lot to say about someone who is greedy, corrupt, and a has been caught in his/her own lies.
So what does Peter tell us to do in response to this? Should we be bashing each other? Should we be calling for love in ways that are divisive? Should we commit to opposing the next government administration because it doesn’t fit our own preferences or ideology? No. Peter writes,
Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human authority:whether to the emperor, as the supreme authority, or to governors, who are sent by him to punish those who do wrong and to commend those who do right. For it is God’s will that by doing good you should silence the ignorant talk of foolish people. Live as free people, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as God’s slaves. Show proper respect to everyone, love the family of believers, fear God, honor the emperor.
At the time of this writing, the emperor was trying to kill Christians; and Peter calls them to honor him. I wonder if there is an application for us here?
The fact of the matter is this, there is no authority here on earth that is not subordinate to God’s authority. That does not necessarily mean that those governments will follow the will of God though, and Peter’s words for those situations are also clear: “By doing good you should silence the ignorant talk of foolish people.”
Friends, no government is going to save us, our religion, or our nation. It is Christians living into their faith, loving our neighbors, our brothers and sisters, loving God, and living into the mission that we are called to as the Church of Jesus Christ.