Within four days last week, we saw:
- Millions of Americans exercise their right to vote in a free presidential election;
- Hundreds of protesters march, chanting “Not My President;”
- Recognition of military veterans by the media, businesses, and sports teams.
I find it ironic that the very same week we honor soldiers who have fought to preserve our freedoms, others declare their opposition to the duly elected president.
Of course, because of our freedom, no one is forced to like or even agree with the president. And it’s those freedoms that make it possible for the protesters to express their opinions.
However, what has happened to respect for the democratic process? When I was growing up, many people in my part of the country were unhappy when Kennedy was elected president–and fearful the Pope would be running the country, which of course proved to be an unfounded concern. But I clearly remember my parents saying, “We may not like the man, but we will respect him because he is the President.”
That attitude of honoring those who are in authority over us seems to have been lost in our ego-centric society. The protesters seem to think that, because they don’t like the outcome of the election, they don’t have to abide by the results.
But scripture plainly tells us that God has determined who will be placed in authority, and it is our responsibility to accept their rule. Jesus said, “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s” (Matthew 22:21, ESV). Caesar considered himself a god and expected to be worshiped. In making this statement, Jesus was clearly saying that Caesar was not God.
If we put our hope in a candidate or in Congress, we are building castles on sand.
But we are called to honor the rulers in authority over us, whether we like them as people or not. And, more importantly, we should pray. As the apostle Paul wrote to Timothy:
“I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior” (I Timothy 2: 1-3, ESV).