At church Saturday night one of our Pastor's, Pastor Kremer, was preaching on 1 Peter 2:9-17. He was talking about a Christians role in the world of politics. He said lots of things that got me thinking, but one in particular really has stood out to me. After reading verses 13 & 14, which say;
"13. Submit yourselves for the Lord's sake to every human institution, whether to a king as the one in authority,
14. or to governors as sent by him for the punishment of evildoers and the praise of those who do right." 1 Peter 2:13-14 (NAS)
Pastor Kremer began to say how he has heard people saying "I can respect the office of the President, but I can't respect the man." and how that is disrespect all the same. He then said that we are to respect all mankind as being created in the image of God Himself. That we don't have a choice to not respect them because of this or that.
Upon thinking about that and then reading verse 17;
"17. Honor all people, love the brotherhood, fear God, honor the king."
1 Peter 2:17 (NAS)
I began to think, "Wow, I know for certain I have failed in this area." I know I have not always "honored the king" (in our case the President). Because when you honor someone you don't speak slander against them and I know at times I have spoken quite ill of President Obama.
I've come to realize that though I may not agree with the opinion of some of those in authority over me I'm still called to respect them. Respect them as God's craftsmanship, respect them as being placed there in that position by God Himself, respect them as the Bible tells me to.
Peter was talking to Jews in Rome during the reign of Nero. Nero was a horrible dictator who persecuted the early church. If Peter can tell them that they need to respect and honor this man who was killing and tormenting them, because it's what God has called them to do, then who am I to say I can't respect a man who just holds a differing opinion to mine.
Here is a link to our churches site that has the sermon online to listen to. The sermon is called "Faithful Presence In A Politically Charged World" it's from June 27, 2010 by Mark Kremer. Sermon