During this past summer, our city government learned how to make enemies. It wasn't easy for us, and I'm sure it wasn't easy for them. How they handled pre-flood preparation and cleanup regulations made many citizens angry. So are we justified in our attitude toward our city officials? Are we then allowed to use swear words when describing them? I should say not!
Romans 13 tells us that every government has been established by God. "Therefore, whoever resists authority has opposed the ordinance of God; and they who have opposed will receive condemnation upon themselves" (Romans 13:2). We need to be careful when confronting these problems.
But what about all the times government limits more of our freedom with safety regulations? Are we supposed to just stand by and let them do what they do? Government has two purposes: punish evil and reward good. However, there are times that governments overstep their bounds. Our national government is a constitutional republic. The state and local governments are supposed to be as well. Our founding fathers chose this form because they knew that men would be in leadership roles and that all men are sinful and will make mistakes. This form allows us to keep our governments in check. It is our job to do that, but we must do it responsibly and not in a mob-like manner.
We also must remember that in the end, the Lord will come out the victor. We are to trust in him as David did when fleeing King Saul. In I Samuel 26, David and his men had a chance to kill Saul, yet David held them back. "But David said to Abishai, 'Do not destroy him, for who can stretch out his hand against the Lord's anointed and be without guilt?' David also said, 'As the Lord lives, surely the Lord will strike him, or his day will come that he dies, or he will go down into battle and perish' " (I Samuel 26:9-10).
We need to have respect for the Lord's anointed as David did.
More than that we need to pray for them. Our leaders have tough decisions to make. In that, they should ask questions. Is the idea of this bill just, right, or fair? Are the means of carrying it out just, right, or fair? Is it our job to change society in this manner? For example, if the state contemplates raising money to help survivors of car wrecks. And they decide it is the right thing to do, they will give $100,000 to each person. This money would come from the treasury.
There are problems with this bill. While it is nice to give money to these survivors, it is not the government's job. The government does not owe them the money. It is the responsibility of the people to drive as safely as possible. Family and friends may help with costs, but public money should go into public investments.
"First of all, then, I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men, for kings and all who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity." (I Timothy 2:1-2)
We need to pray that God gives our leaders the wisdom to make the right decisions. We also must trust God and recognize that this world is temporary, and that God will reign no matter what we do. Even still, we must respect authority.
Flint McLoughlin is a senior at Our Redeemer's Christian School in Minot.