ON THE ATTITUDE TO THE AUTHORITY

The lack of respect and especially the lack of love and trust for authority are more prominent. Why is the respect for the authority reduced?

We mean authority not only in the political arena but also in different spheres. The decline in respect for the authorities is conditioned by the personal behavior of the bearers of authority, the position they hold and the inadequate behavior in the assumed responsibilities.

Often, they, that have power in different spheres, force their power through their high posts and not by showing their virtue to bear and exercise that authority.

The pagan perceptions of the power lead to the relationships found on the concepts about the superiors and subordinates, supremacy, and subjugation. Whereas Christ says: “The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them, and they that exercise authority upon them are called benefactors. But ye [shall] not [be] so: but he that is greatest among you, let him be as the younger; and he that is chief, as he that doth serve” (Luke 22: 25-26). “If any man desire to be first, [the same] shall be last of all, and servant of all” (Mark 9:35).

Hence, in a Christian sense, love and service make legal and acceptable power and authority, according to the spiritual perception. The dominant power according to the principles of commands, an atmosphere of fear, the threat of punishment, and the strict penalty of the law is the cause of dissatisfaction with the authorities, the desire to get rid of them, under the seeming obedience the feelings of antipathy and even enmity and hatred.

Thus, the real authority must be an authority based on service, love, and care, and not on the basis of the fear and compulsion to obey to the obtained power of the ruler, that is, it should not be the power of the law, but of grace.

The teaching of the apostle Paul, that you are not under the law, but under grace (Romans 6:14), extends also to the Christian perception of the authority by which the power is exercised not by the reminder of the punishment of disobedience, sentenced by the law, and which leads to dissatisfaction and disdain, but with love and parental care towards those who are under the power.

In this case, power is becoming a moral authority and not just an authority based on law. It is this type of government that enjoys respect and love.

Can the authority serve only for good purposes?

Authority means a great authorization given by someone to act in any field. Authority is God-given. Here are two things to note:

The power in political or other spheres is given by God to any person or a group of people in two ways – with God’s perfect will and permissive will.

In the theology, these distinctions of divine will are made with the explanation that God manages with His perfect will so that the good be realized in the world, in human life, and with the permissive will He allows that some negative event occurs for a distant good purpose as from the small evil God can bring great benefits to the humanity, society, and country.

Here we don’t speak about the numerical increase of God’s will, but about different manifestations of the same will. In his letter to the Romans, the apostle Paul states: “Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God” (13:1).

From the Bible, we can recall Joseph’s example. He was put under the power of the slave traders who sold him in Egypt. And later Joseph was imprisoned and put under the power of the keeper of the prison and then under the power of Pharaoh who gave him a great position. And we can see that all this has been done with divine will for greater good, because being under different powers, Joseph came to a state when he brought salvation to his parent, brothers, and relatives, as well as to many peoples.

Thus, with the persecution of Jewish children, Moses was taken from his parents when he was a child and entered the upper circles of the Egyptian government and then led his own people to the salvation from the captivity of hundreds of years.

So, according to the Bible, the power is God-given by divine directive or permissive will to serve the good of mankind. And violence, injustice, and mischief, imposed on people by the abuse of power, are not pleasing to God but even through such evils, He raises the benefits with His providence.

You can also read: