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Why We Should Honor All Those in Authority Over Us!

Robert is not a theologian; even so, he has a love for God's word and finds great joy in sharing what God reveal's to him through His word.

“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”.

Comments

KC McGee from Where I belong on September 26, 2020:

Robert,

Thank you for clarifying. It now gives me far more to think about when it comes to honor and respect.

Thanks for taking the time explaining.

God bless Robert.

Robert Henry Ditmore MA MEd (author) from MORRISON on September 26, 2020:

K.C., sorry it has taken me so long to reply to your comment,

"You are implying that we should honor and respect Pollical leaders even though they may involve themselves in wrong doing, but it's not a problem to show lack of honor and respect towards those leaders of religion because of their wrong doing."

That is not what I am implying at all. For starters the Roman leaders of that time were pagan and far from good men. They were ruthless killers and certainly no friend of Christianity. But then neither were the Pharisees!

We are NOT to honor or respect the wrong doing of either group; however, the Romans were in authority over ALL Judea and Israel, regardless of religious affiliation. They bare the sword, they made the laws, they executed justice on all who broke those laws. As long as those laws did not require an immoral act or any other action in direct violation of the Christian belief, they were to be obeyed!

The Pharisees, on the other hand, were rulers over their own traditional ceremonial religion, which by that time was in many ways so far removed from what God had originally dictated that it was almost unrecognizable. They demanded that all Jews obey the Laws of Moses, Christian or otherwise; this was in direct violation to the teachings of Christ and the Apostles. Furthermore, they slaughtered no telling how many Christians for refusing to do so. Paul himself testified that he had killed and imprisoned Christians beyond number.

God, bad, or indifferent, The Christians were not beholden to that belief system, nor to its leaders (Pharisees, or Sadducees either). However, just as with the Romans, and with our leaders today, we are are to honor ALL men, not their deeds, but they themselves, as well as the offices they may hold..

Yes, when Jesus said to "render" He was speaking of taxes at that moment; however, Jesus also said:

" But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;" (Matthew 5:44). "Honour all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honour the king" (I Peter 2:17). THIS is how we honor a those people, by prayer and supplications!

From my perspective the majority of politicians today are my enemies. Most politicians in Washington D.C., and especially those on one side of the floor, have no fear of God; they have proven this by their votes, in their speeches, and in their actions. They are blasphemers and haters of all that God calls good; they love all that God calls an abomination; what God has condemned, they have affirmed - they are the enemies of God. "Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God" (James 4:4).

If they are enemies of God, which they certainly are, then they are my enemies as well: yet, as we are told in Matthew, we are to love them, bless them, and pray for them, Pharisee, politician, or otherwise.

Please do not think that I approve, or think we should approve of everything these people do, far from it. There is a point that I feel imprecatory prayer may be called for, and I think we are close to that time now. I will be honest though and say that I am still unsure whether a Christian should ever resort to that kind of prayer; before I feel comfortable doing so I have much more study to do. Besides, that is for another conversation.

K.C., thank you for making me think! Folks like yourself and Eric keep me on my toes and keep me accountable, I appreciate that.

God bless!

Robert Henry Ditmore MA MEd (author) from MORRISON on September 24, 2020:

K. C. and Eric,

I have to apologize, but I actually work from 0600 until 17:30 and afterwards is when I get really busy ;-). I only saw these comments when I checked my email earlier. That being said, I want to add to this conversation but it will be later. I usually only have opportunity to write and respond between 4 and 6 AM each day.

I really appreciate both of you and your opinions and am not ignoring the conversation. This particular conversation deserves much more thought than I am thought than to offer at the moment, but I will get re-involved as soon as possible..

God bless.

KC McGee from Where I belong on September 24, 2020:

Eric,

I will put it this way.

You are looking at the difference.

I am looking at the same.

A policial leader can be hypocrite. A leader in Religion can be a hypocrite. Therefore, it's the same wrong.

Jesus said; "You are in the world but not OF the world".

Blessing Eric.

Eric Dierker from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on September 24, 2020:

KC it does seem to me from a "religious" point of view they are different enough to treat them differently. I am thinking; Woe to these who teach the children wrong.

Yet I must agree I must initially treat the elders with respect. Was it Nicodemus that showed good within a horrible lot of "leaders"? Maybe it is a degree - issue.

KC McGee from Where I belong on September 24, 2020:

Robert,

Just to be clear I really need to understand your last comment to Eric which you explain why there is a "difference".

And this is the understanding I have at the moment.

You are implying that we should honor and respect Policial leaders even though they may involve themselves in wrong doing, but it's not a problem to show lack of honor and respect towards those leaders of religion because of their wrong doing. All because their different.

What it implies is this................there's a difference in "wrong" and we should honor and respect the right one.

In the eyes of Jesus, I don't think it would pass the smell test.

P.S When Jesus stated; "Render unto Caeser the things which are Caeser's and unto God, the thingsthe be God's", He was talking about taxes not respect.

Blessing Robert.

Robert Henry Ditmore MA MEd (author) from MORRISON on September 24, 2020:

Thank you Eric.

I feel the difference is that with the Pharisees, Sadducees, and Scribes we are talking about hypocritical religious rulers, who certainly ruled over a "religion"; they were not Kings, princes, or for that matter, Caesars, presidents and congressmen who are governmental rulers and are those who "bare not the sword in vain"

As you know, Jesus said to "render unto Caesar the things which be Caesar's, and unto God, the things that be God's"; I don't recall Him ever rendering unto the Pharisees anything but the title of Hypocrite and a very bleak eternal destiny.

Romans 13, I believe, is certainly talking of Political / governmental rulers and not those "vipers and hypocrites that adorned themselves in their own pitiful self-righteousness.

Does that make sense? As I stated in my Bio, I'm certainly no theologian ;-), this is just my take from scripture.

Thank you both for your comments and for making me use my noggin.

Eric Dierker from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on September 23, 2020:

Most excellent KC and Robert I have learned a lot and have much to think about here. I follow the bent of Robert in some ways.

Robert why are the Pharisees, Sophists and Sadducee different. I feel that way but have trouble figuring why.

Of course we would pray for those idiots also as in "an enemy". But what is this distinction? I find in distinctions we learn more about concepts.

KC McGee from Where I belong on September 23, 2020:

Robert,

I will keep everything you said in mind.. Thank you for explaining your view and I do understand.

God bless

Robert Henry Ditmore MA MEd (author) from MORRISON on September 23, 2020:

K.C.,

I absolutely respect your opinions, even though our opinions may differ somewhat.

But, as regards this issue of “honor”, I need to make sure we understand what that word means to me. The Greek word for honor”, or “honour” as it is spelled God’s word, is “time”, pronounced “te-mά” (for disclosure, I do not read, write, or understand Greek or Hebrew, but I do have a good Lexicon  ); that word refers to “the honour which one has by reason of rank and state of office which he holds”, so in all actuality you could say it is the office that we honor; but, since that person holds that office, that honor is bestowed upon them as well.

We can also honor someone with our prayers and supplications on their behalf, which we should be willing to do regardless of our dislike for them, and especially when that person, or persons actions can greatly affect our liberties and our way of life.

I Timothy 2:1-3 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.” It has nothing to do at all with worshipping or revering these people, it really does not have anything to do even with liking them as far as I am concerned.

Why we do this is two-fold, so that we might live in peace, and more importantly I believe is the reason given in vs.4 of that same passage, “For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.”

As for the scribes and Pharisees, that is a completely different matter and I do not believe we differ in view there much, if at all.

Thank you for your insight K.C. and I also want to thank you again for being an encouragement to me as I learn to navigate HUB.

God bless

KC McGee from Where I belong on September 23, 2020:

Well Robert,

I believe thiis is one area where I need to disagree. I do not believe in Honor to all. Many yes, all no.

Jesus Himself did not honor them all during His ministry and I will provide some perfect examples in scripture.

Jesus use the following words to discribed a number of Scribes and Pharisees in His day which is found through Matthew 23: 13 thru 24 which He calls them Fools, blind fools, hypocrites, vipers and sons of hell. And these Scribes and Pharisees were the leaders of their day.

Those were not words of respect honor shown towards the Scribes and Pharisees by Jesus. Nor are they kind and respectful. Jesus called it exactly the way He saw it. Clearly Jesus calls out these people for there wrong doing.

Today I have absolutely NO RESPECT for many who are suppose to be leaders in our country. They lie, cheat and many commit crime and are allowed by their own peers to get way with it. I refuse to Honor them all. Most do not deserve honor or respect.

At the same time I do not hate them. Jesus instructed us to love our enemies which is found in Matthew 5:44. Not once in any of the four gospel did Jesus Christ instruct us or command us to respect any individual. Therefore, I won't. Like Jesus, I call it the way I see it.

Many blessings Robert.

Eric Dierker from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on September 23, 2020:

Important issues to address for sure. Too many forget these lessons of respect.