“Let every person be subordinate to the higher authorities, for there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been established by God. Therefore, whoever resists authority opposes what God has appointed, and those who oppose it will bring judgment upon themselves. Do you wish to have no fear of authority? Then do what is good and you will receive approval from it.”
There was a time when the Christians in Rome had decided that since they were followers of Christ, they no longer had to pay taxes to Rome. They felt they were further justified because the Romans themselves were not followers of Christ. That was when Paul stepped in and said that this could not continue. As Christians, they were called to respect and obey the authorities. Why? Because they were appointed by God.
Every person in authority in our life is there because their position has been given to them by God – whether they recognize that fact or not.
This call to obedience isn’t new news either – Christ himself went through what we are going through now. He was surrounded by men in power who were hypocrites and said that they did one thing while at the same time doing another. Sound familiar? Yet Christ, although answering them with humility, still respected the office the men held. He did what they said, but not as they did.
So while I respect the office that is being held, I do not respect what the holder of the office does when they abuse the privilege they have been granted. As Christians, we are part of the mystical body of Christ. Christ is the head of the body, and we are to listen to Him. We also are called to listen to those God has placed in authority over his people. So although we may not like everything they do, unless, by following their actions we are being caused to sin, we agree to obey them as authoritative figures in their life.