Do not deceive yourselves. If any of you think you are wise by the standards of this age, you should become “fools” so that you may become wise. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God’s sight. As it is written: “He catches the wise in their craftiness;”and again, “The Lord knows that the thoughts of the wise are futile.”So then, no more boasting about human leaders! All things are yours, whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas or the world or life or death or the present or the future—all are yours, and you are of Christ, and Christ is of God. 1 Corinthians 3:18-23 NIV
Some things just need clarification and so today, I’m going to attempt to clarify some of what Paul has said to the Believers of that era and how it applies to us today.
We are told repeatedly in the bible about not allowing ourselves to be deceived by those who would hoodwink us into believing a lie. If we understand how Satan operates, we know that he approaches some in the guise of a sheep when he is actually a wolf–ready to devour the vulnerable.
You foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? Before your very eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed as crucified. I would like to learn just one thing from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by believing what you heard? Are you so foolish? After beginning by means of the Spirit, are you now trying to finish by means of the flesh? Galatians 3:1-3 NIV
Are we living according to the Spirit of God or our flesh and the dictates of man? We are also warned about listening to and obeying what “mere mortals” say over what God has said. The best example we have of courageous souls who chose to obey God rather than “evil authority” is Daniel and Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. They all refused to obey the dictates of an evil authority–one who worshiped idols and knew not God and the evil authority ordered them to be killed–Daniel thrown in the lion’s den and the others into the furnace–heated hotter than ever before. And the outcome–God shut the mouths of the lions and protected them in the blazing fire.
Now when you hear the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp, pipe and all kinds of music, if you are ready to fall down and worship the image I made, very good. But if you do not worship it, you will be thrown immediately into a blazing furnace. Then what god will be able to rescue you from my hand?” Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied to him, “King Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us from Your Majesty’s hand. But even if he does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.” Then Nebuchadnezzar was furious with Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, and his attitude toward them changed. He ordered the furnace heated seven times hotter than usual and commanded some of the strongest soldiers in his army to tie up Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego and throw them into the blazing furnace. Daniel 3:15-18 NIV
If we continue reading the story, we see how God is able to save those who belong to Him and with the demonstration of His power, convince others to take Him seriously.
Now, to get back to when we ought to obey those in governmental authority.We are not obligated to obey any authority that does not honor The Word of God. Therefore, when people use the following verse of scripture in an attempt to get us to believe Trump is God’s choice for president, they lie and the truth is not in them. But let’s keep scriptures in context and see what God is saying through Paul, while remembering how Jesus opposed the Pharisees who were an authority.
Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God.Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and you will be commended. For the one in authority is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for rulers do not bear the sword for no reason. They are God’s servants, agents of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer. Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also as a matter of conscience. Romans 13:1-5 NIV
Wait for it to sink in. For there is no authority except that which God has established. Remember when Paul is talking to new converts in Rome and then remember when our “democratic process” was established. Was this established by God or man?
Exactly when did God establish the governmental hierarchy we now have? Did He decide we would have a president, vice-president, speaker of the house, etc. or did man make that decision?
If the established authority was indeed established by God–then we could all rest assured the servant of God would know God. How can we be a servant of anyone we don’t know? And if a servant of God is in a position of authority, then it is for our good and we are obligated to obey the established authority in the servant of God. Is Trump a servant of God or of himself? We know by all accounts seen–Trump does not know God and even though there are some who are praying for conversion–the prayers do not negate the fact that since Trump is not a servant of God–he is not an authority established by God, but by man.
But there’s more.
This is also why you pay taxes, for the authorities are God’s servants, who give their full time to governing. Give to everyone what you owe them: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor.Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law. The commandments, “You shall not commit adultery,” “You shall not murder,” “You shall not steal,” “You shall not covet,” and whatever other command there may be, are summed up in this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”Love does no harm to a neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law. Romans 13:6-10 NIV
We are told the authorities are God’s servants who give their full time to governing.
Have we even seen a full-time servant of God governing in the White House lately? And just as a side-bar issue–when Barack Obama was in the White House for eight years–where were all these “Christians” admonishing people with the same passage of scripture they now want others to adhere to with Trump? Double-Standard much? Of course, there is and please note–I’m not saying God chose Barack Obama because I know people chose him and elected him for two terms. In fact, I don’t know of any president that God chose since he never went to the polls to vote.
For those who have been reading my blogs for awhile, you know I’ve criticized Obama when I saw him veering off on more than one occasion. Always, always being the watchman that God has called me to be–no matter who is in what office.
But since we are commanded to love–there is such a huge difference between Obama and Trump that we can see though some of Obama’s policies may have been contrary to the Word of God–what he did, he did out of love for the people he governed.
Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters,since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.Anyone who does wrong will be repaid for their wrongs, and there is no favoritism. Colossians 3:23-25 NIV
We are told that whatever we do–we should do as unto The Lord, not man. So if we’re going to honor the authority in the White House–acknowledging the established rule of government by man–not God–then we should make sure the person in White House is a servant of God, not of his own greed and need for power. At any time–we see those in authority not obeying God–we are not obligated to submit to them or obey. We are not to turn our backs on those who are the poor and needy and the foreigners in our land. That is not of God. We are to love all and love God.
What we must remember in all of this is one thing–God is our authority and we must always seek His direction for everything we do, not mere mortals since they are fallible and God is infallible.