"Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God." - Romans 13:1 NIV.
It is the Fourth of July weekend as I write this article. But I was torn as to what to write about. The last time I wrote I was in India on a mission trip. India was an amazing country. Rich in its beauty, sad in its poverty. So maybe I should write a report. Leave it to say that if you see me and haven't heard the story of me, the elephant and the tiger, ask and I will tell you. You are probably the only one in Randolph County who has not heard the story.
But it is Independence Day and I will write about obligations to our country. The Bible teaches that as Christians we are to submit to the authorities.
That is why we obey traffic laws. Another good reason is we do not want tickets and fines. In India, they did not obey traffic laws and it was absolute chaos.
But submission to authorities is more than traffic laws. It's taxes and all of our laws.
I have heard lots of concerns since we changed presidents. But if we remember just a few months ago there were plenty of concerns about the previous administration. Just different people on the other side. And your side may be right or wrong.
The amazing thing to me is the amount of change we as Americans can tolerate and remain peaceful. All we have to do is look at the world news and see how different it is in other countries.
There are limits as to how much we as Christians are to tolerate. If the laws require us to violate our true beliefs about God and the Bible, then we need to resist. Usually that is not the case.
Also there are ways to change the laws that are not biblical. In our wonderful country, we are guaranteed certain rights that enable us to make peaceful changes. We need to take advantage of them when we feel that certain wrongs need to be changed.
The sacrifices of so many of our fellow countrymen over the years need to be remembered. It would be a terrible shame if their lives were wasted.
Of course, the sacrifice of Jesus is what makes us different. And people need to realize that our country was established with God as that foundation, which makes our country so different.
Our country will remain strong as long as we obey our laws. God will continue to bless as long as we follow his word. The two are connected and we need to recognize that.
Celebrate this weekend. Attend the festivities and support our country. But also attend your worship service this weekend and celebrate Jesus.
(The opinions of this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Inter-Mountain, the Randolph County Ministerial Association or the author's church affiliation.)