Friday, July 13, 2012

Obeying Wicked Leaders for the Glory of God

    I think that it is important to note that God recognizes a leader as a leader to be obeyed and respected despite the leader's wickedness.
Matthew 23:2-3
(Jesus) "Saying ' The scribes and Pharisees have seated themselves in the chair of Moses; 3 therefore all that they tell you, do and observe, but do not do according to their deeds; for they say things and do not do them." 

    Is it just me or is that pretty clear? Here is Jesus' opinion on how to respond to wicked and hypocritical leaders. God said that those who have seated THEMSELVES in authority, we MUST recognize their authority. Notice that these scribes and Pharisees seated themselves to a position of authority, they did not gain the position through inheritance nor any good merits of their own but interjected themselves into the seat of Moses, but despite how they got to sit in the position of leaders, they were there and were to be obeyed. We, slaves of Christ, must not rebel against our authority because we think that the individuals or group of individuals do not belong in the seat of a leader. Ultimately God Himself placed those people to be authority. So if we think that we can rebel against Obama because he isn't an American citizen or that he president due to fraud and he asserted himself, we must still obey him because, despite how he rose to presidency, God placed him there.
    We, slaves of Christ, must obey those in authority despite their wicked actions and hypocrisy. The scribes and Pharisees that Jesus is referring to is the same group that Jesus called white washed tombs and serpents. Despite that the authority is corrupt and is hypocritical we must obey their words, we cannot disobey. Their wickedness does not give us an excuse or license to rebel. Where in the Bible is that commended? I know how wicked the current governments are, they all hate God, all kingdoms of the world lie in the lap of the evil one and that has been true since the beginning of time! The governments have always been wicked, and America is no exception, America is not the new promise land or God's new people. The whole world is wicked, but what has God said? 
Mark 12:14-17
"They came and said to Him, “Teacher, we know that You are truthful and defer to no one; for You are not partial to any, but teach the way of God in truth. Is it lawful to pay a poll-tax to Caesar, or not? 15 Shall we pay or shall we not pay?” But He, knowing their hypocrisy, said to them, “Why are you testing Me? Bring Me a denarius to look at.” 16 They brought one. And He said to them, “Whose likeness and inscription is this?” And they said to Him, “Caesar’s.” 17 And Jesus said to them, “ Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” And they were amazed at Him. 
Amen! 
    Though the main reason for asking this question to our Lord was to trick Him, the question was one that the Jews struggled with. The Jews hated their Roman rulers and they disliked paying the Romans taxes because they said, and rightly so, that paying taxes to Rome encouraged and financed many wicked practices that was prolific in Roman culture, including idolatry. Despite all that, though, Christ still commanded the people to pay their taxes.  
     Though we are to obey the word of our leaders do not do what they do, for most earthly rulers do not adhere to their very own laws, not to mention the very moral laws that God has placed within their consciences. Do not become twice the son of hell as they are.
    So why do we obey those who are in authority, even the wicked ones? It is not about obeying the government because the government is something special but because we obey and are slave of God and citizens of His Kingdom, which is eternal. God has placed those men in authority Himself and He Himself directs the king's heart to do whatever He wishes. Is He not sovereign? We obey the government because we obey God, and that is why when man's laws contradict God's laws, we observe God's laws. If a government official came and said "deny Christ or die" I will choose physical death, for I cannot blaspheme and disregard His name. "Fear God and give Him glory", and that is a command (yes God can and does command men).
    So if you call yourself a Christian then obey the government, not for the government's sake but because you love God. You are not of this world.