What does the Bible say about those in authority?
All authority, from a fifteen-year-old babysitter to the leaders of nations, comes from God (Romans 13:1). However, this God-given authority does not give people in authority the right to exercise absolute rule. Leaders and those in power are “the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil” (Romans 13:4). In other words, the primary role of government is to punish criminals for the citizenry to pursue life, liberty, and happiness without fear of those rights hindered by those of an evil heart.
Authorities and leaders at every level need to lay it to heart that any power they have has come from God. Therefore, they are answerable to God with how they lead and exercise said authority (Proverbs 16:12).
Our Declaration of Independence also proclaims this principle of the responsibility leaders have toward God and the people, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men…”
President Lincoln gave us the Emancipation Proclamation, but it took another century for other civil rights actions to become law. Remember the peaceful protest of Dr. Martin Luther King? Often the peaceful protest was met with tear gas and fire hoses, but the protesters remained peaceful. The turning the other cheek, the resisting of an eye for an eye, brought about change.
Cities are currently burning across our land. Several mayors and governors are claiming that rioters are coming in from other cities and states.
What is going on in our country?
We are a nation that has forgotten God. Everyone screams, “We have the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” But the Creator that has endowed us with these unalienable rights is, if not forgotten, then disregarded. In our first schools, the Bible was often the only textbook. It teaches world history, math, science, English, and principles for living a peaceful, righteous, and happy life. However, we removed the book from schools over half a century ago. Prayer has also been a no-no in schools for nearly sixty years. For almost fifty years, the killing of the innocent — the baby in the womb — has been law. Sexual promiscuity is not only the norm but expected; it is no longer a shame as it was in times long past. There is no fear of God in the eyes of the people. Also, with many in America still professing Christianity, He is near in their mouth, but far from their reigns. We are a people that no longer blush (Romans 3:18; Jeremiah 12:2; 6:15; 8:12).
In 2020 we have seen:
1. Fear and mistrust have spread among the populace. People were locked up in their homes. Conflicting reports made it nearly impossible for the people to know who to believe. Many are still in fear of the virus. In contrast, others are assembling in mass on the beaches, thinking either the threat is over, or that the government lied from the beginning.
2. Thugs (a word used by both President Trump and President Obama to describe rioters) are taking over our cities. As if the virus were not enough to keep people living in fear and shut up in their homes. According to Fox News, as of this writing, 16,000 National Guard troops have been deployed in 24 states and Washington D.C. to stop the violence.
3. Several states are, at least, discussing virus contact tracing. Putting into place some sort of surveillance or tracking system “to stop the spread of the virus.”
4. It took threats from the federal government for some governors to allow churches to reopen.
5. The suspension, at least temporarily, of the rule of law. The Constitution is the law of the land. However, executive orders for churches to close, large gatherings to cease, some businesses to close, others to remain open are all against the exercise of liberty and free enterprise.
All the above has brought division. We are more than a nation divided; we are a nation nearly fragmented into pieces.
The division over the virus. It is “stay home; wear a mask if you must go outside; think of others; you may be killing someone.” Versus, “They are taking away our freedoms; it is no worse than the flu; they are deliberately destroying the economy to keep Trump from being reelected.
The smoke ascending from our cities is a sign of racial divisions.
Intelligent discussion over anything political has vanished, replaced with name-calling. An attitude of “if you do not agree with me, you must hate me” prevails within society. This all or nothing thinking keeps us screaming at each other instead of talking — thus spreading the division.
We have pushed God outside of our education system and much of our society, including many churches. We sit divided, in fear, and on the brink of financial disaster.
Where are we headed? Without the ideals of our founding fathers and the teachings of God, we will continue our current path of division and fear.
Remember the words of Abraham Lincoln, and Jesus Christ, a “house divided against itself shall not stand.”
Preacher Johnson is Pastor of Countryside Baptist Church in northern Parke County, Indiana. Webpage: www.preacherspoint.wordpress.com; email: firstname.lastname@example.org; address: 410 S. Jefferson St. Rockville IN 47872; all Bible references KJV. The Daily Advocate does not endorse these viewpoints or the independent activities of the author.