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. 15 For such is the will of God that by doing right you may silence the ignorance of foolish men. 16 Act as free men, and do not use your freedom as a covering for evil, but use it as bond slaves of God. 17 Honor all people, love the brotherhood, fear God, honor the king.
1 Peter 2:13-17
Of all people, Christians should be model citizens. We are for the Lord’s sake. We are because it’s his will. You’d think he’d want us to be rebels with a cause, but he wants us to submit to every human institution, from the king on down to the beat cop. They’re in place by his hand to punish evildoers and to praise those who do right.
This may be easy if you voted for the king, but that’s going to be a rare case if you know anything about history. In fact, it’s really unusual if you’re not oppressed in some way by the authorities that be.
Nonetheless, we’re to use the freedom we have to do right. This is the only way God says we can silence the ignorance of foolish men. I always thought we needed to rant and rave, or at least write our congressman.
Whatever the case, we’re to act as free men, even though we might not be. Never should we abuse our freedom to cloak evil. If we honor all people, love our brothers and sisters in Christ–we’re in this together!–and honor the king, we’re doing God’s will.
I know I left out fearing God, but to make a point. We honor the king, but fear God. There’s a big difference there, and our only reason to get sideways with the law.
“We must obey God rather than men,” said Peter, when called out to quit preaching Jesus. (Acts 5:29)
They say there is an exception to every rule.