Will we respect the Presidency?

by Richard Mansel, managing editor

A sister in Christ was vocal about her political beliefs. She filled her time with political television and radio. It was the center of her being.

One Sunday in Bible Class, we came to Peter’s command to “Honor the king” (1 Peter 2:17). She scoffed and with a disgusted look said she refused to honor the President. We then looked at Paul’s insistence that we pray for our leaders (1 Timothy 2:1-2). Yet, she remained obstinate.

Only hate can cause us to look God in the eyes and defy him because of the way we feel about a human being. We can lose our souls because of this attitude. We cannot be in Christ if we have hate in our hearts (1 John 1:5; 2:9).

Jonah hated the people of Nineveh and refused to take the Word to them (Jonah 1:1-3). God got his attention before he begrudgingly complied (Jonah 3).

Hate fills our eyes with blood and we are unable to see the good in those we disdain. We assign evil motives to them no matter what they do.

Hate breeds suspicion and superiority. They are trapped in our web of delusion and we become a prison warden holding them in a maximum security super-cell.

As Christians, we must examine ourselves to determine our strengths and weaknesses. Sports, religion and politics are areas that can magnify character flaws. We must keep our heads and remember we are Christians before we are anything.

Christians can become filled with hatred and hostility as they use the Bible as a weapon of destruction. Instead of leading people to heaven, they want to send more people to hell.

Satan will take our weaknesses and manifest them. If politics or sports makes Satan’s job easier, then we must abandon sports and politics (Exodus 20:3-5; Matthew 5:29-30). Whatever we place in front of God, no matter how harmless or altruistic it may appear, has to be banished.

Nero was in power when Peter said to honor the king. He would eventually execute Peter and Paul. He blamed Christian for the burning of Rome and had some of his family executed to protect his power. Two leaders before Nero was Caligula, who was criminally insane.

Josef Stalin killed 40 million people. Hitler killed nine million in the Holocaust and millions more in World War II. Pol Pot killed one-third of Cambodia’s population and Idi Amin Dada killed more than half a million Ugandans.

We have never had a President who was in the league of these maniacs. The person in power is immaterial because God ordained the office, not the man.

In Romans 13, Paul outlines very clearly the responsibility we have as citizens. In 13:1, “every soul” is emphatic in Greek and refers to “every living being.” No one is immune.

The “authority of government is “ordained” of God and we must respect it. If we disobey the government we disobey God. When our government aligns itself against God’s, “We ought to obey God rather than men” (Acts 5:29, NKJV; cf. Proverbs 14:34; Psalm 9:17).

If these leaders conduct themselves contrary to God’s will, then we must continue to pray for them and to be more active in spreading the Truth of God’s Word. While it is unlikely that any of our Presidents will be Christians that does not change God’s directive to obey and honor our President.

We must be Christians first in everything. Whatever we do that endangers that goal must be banished from our lives because Christ must always have the glory (Ephesians 3:20-21).

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Richard lives in Florence, Alabama and is married to Deirdre. They have three daughters. He is an avid reader, devoted writer and lover of history and research. He is the author of "The Most Important Question" and is working on more books.

17 thoughts on “Will we respect the Presidency?

  1. Very good, Richard. I have run into the same problem where people do not like a president, and their thoughts and feelings are so strong that they scoff at what the Bible says concerning how we are to respect leaders.

    I have run into the same thing with people who do not care for certain elders.

    David provides us a tremendous example when Saul was trying to kill him, yet, David refused to strike back, because Saul was the Lord’s anointed.

    Who has ever been under the political pressure as much as David with a king who wanted to kill him? Therefore, if David could still respect the office that Saul held, which meant respecting Saul, we can certainly still respect the office toward the man who holds a position of leadership.

    Daniel toward Nebuchadnezzar is another example.

  2. Great article. Respecting the presidency does not mean agreeing with his policies, as some would suggest. Neither does it mean that one hates the presidency if there is a disagreement with their policies. Sadly, the postmodern culture suggests that to love and respect another is to condone their belief and behavior.

  3. I can respect the office, yet not support the views of an individual. God is in control and is my only standard for living. That being said, He indicated, as you have put so well, that we are to honor the office. Notice the number of times David refused to use force against “God’s elect.”

  4. I respect the office of the President. Very seldom do I completely approve of their actions.
    But I pray for them daily.
    In Psalms 139:21 David said “Do I not hate those that hate you, and abhor those that rise up against you? I have nothing but hatred for them; I count them my enemies.” But in the next verse he says, “Know my heart, test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” Another words, make sure I do it in the right way.The authority of government is “ordained” of God!The Executive Branch, the Judicial Branch, and the Legislative Branch all get their authority from the Constitution. The United States Constitution IS the “ordained by God” authority in the country. The Constitution requires us to defend it (the Constitution) against all enemies, foreign or domestic. (outsiders or insiders) Even unto giving our life for it. (the Constitution) The Bible requires me to defend the authority of my country and I must do! I have a Biblical obligation to do so! But if this country falls and we go into bondage to Chinese/Muslim/Russian powers….then the Bible requires me to obey them, unless they tell me to go against Gods Commands, then I must give my life up for the Glory of God. I would rather give it up now in the defense of my Constitution than afterwards, at least it would benefit my children more. (maybe, maybe not) God could make it turn out for good either way. But I really don’t have a choice, I must follow his instructions. It all depends upon how circumstances develop whether I fight or follow

  5. This is truly a powerful idea when one realizes what kings, governors and others in high places did to the apostle for preaching the truth. Yet, Paul by the inspiration of God said, “Honor the King.” Great article and it is so needed today.

  6. I always respect the Presidency, but that doesn’t mean the President is always right. What are you to do when the President and the Bible clash? Like abortion or homosexuals? You go with what God says. You always go with God no matter what. I Pray for the leaders of this country and the world nightly. Respecting and agreeing are two different things.

    1. Leslie, of course respecting and agreeing are two different things just as the Presidency and the President are different. Thanks for your comment!

  7. This is a very good article Richard. I understand the command we are to do here. This is only the second President in my life time I find this very hard to follow. I know I fall short and pray that I can come to grips with this.

  8. On top of this, we have to deal with our Christian siblings in our congregations who have different political views than we do. We have to accept that other people have the right to have a different outlook, and to still love them and value them (Rom 14:1 — 15:6)

  9. I don’t totally agree with you
    WE are to respect the position of president not the individual who speaks against the Word of God & Christianity like this president does_we are to take a stand as Christians for God versus man
    I know many won’t agree with me but I don’t follow the crowd-I stand with God and His teachings from the word of God!!!!!

    1. Bernard, the President and the Presidency are two different things. When Paul wrote Romans 13:1-5 and Peter wrote 1 Peter 2:17, the rulers were much more evil than the leaders we have in the United States. Yet, those passages still exist. The Holy Spirit gave us this command in reference to the powers not the person so it is timeless. If it were merely contextual, these passages would be worthless.

    2. I think God expects us to stand up against evil and for good. Respect has nothing to do with that. Paul did to Herod. I believe God will call us out for not coming together as brothers and sisters in Christ to thoroughly discuss our politicians and our politics. We refuse to discuss politics for fear of alienating members… good thing we don’t do that on Biblical matters. Check out http://www.romans13truth.com written by two Christian lawyers who claim we have been misinterpreting Romans 13.

      1. Thomas, I went to the website to check it out and found that the two lawyers were a father & son team that had a book to sell about Romans 13. Although I haven’t read the book, I would not have much faith in their interpretation of Romans 13 since the father’s bio says he was a baptist minister and the son doesn’t say anything about religion in his bio. I will accept GOD’s word on this subject rather than man’s ideas.

        1. It is a very hard book to read but I am going very slow. It may have truth in it and just be a different interpretation than we have been u8sed to..,.Truth is limited to the Bible but not limited to the members per se. I would like to share with you when I finish it. I have found some good points, IMHO…but I have been wrong before 🙂 I believe every man’s interpretation of God’s word is their own interpretation and subject to error so we must “test” it. Thank you for replying…I must leave for Church…God bless you

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