Honor all people. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the king ! 1 Peter 2:17
We hosted an exchange student from Eastern Europe several years ago. He arrived in September to begin school and landed right in the middle of a bitterly election fight for governor akin to our present presidential race. I had become deaf to the ads stating that this man was a liar and the other a thief but our student had not. “Wow!” he said one day. “They couldn’t say those things back in my country! They would arrest you or someone would come and beat you up!” “They always do that here” I explained. It is just part of any election.” Whether or not insulting and rude behavior has always been this way is a debate for the historians but what is not in question is God’s attitude toward our disrespect of those in authority.
“You don’t know how bad these politicians are today!” you might say. But the rulers in the days of the early church were kings like Herod, governors like Pontius Pilate and Emperors like Titus (Who burned Jerusalem to the ground, crucified thousands of people and had their fields plowed with salt) In other words those rulers whom Peter told us to honor were sometimes violent and ruthless people, Yet the honor we give as Christians is not really just to them but to God who has given them authority. Honoring them has nothing to do with agreeing with or even obeying their commands – Check out Daniel in the lions’ den! When we honor the king we are saying, “I trust that God is still in control!” God is giving us the chance to show the world God’s way. As followers of Jesus Christ we should respect everyone even those politicians we do not like. Remember that they are all made in the image of God!