The final matter about which Christians must take what is sometimes an unpopular view is resistance to civil authority. We’ve come to the sad place in our country in which authority is often seen as “white”. There have been many contributing factors, but there are some areas in which, if a policeman is black, he may be considered by peers as being too “white”.
It is disconcerting that, when a person is shot by a policeman, leaders in the black community may begin using the term “murder” before the facts are known. Riots are sometimes occurring before investigations have been completed, despite the fact that there are often both black and white people who are involved in and may be targets of the investigations at various levels. Reports are made public, then, and if they are contradictory to the view that initially incited the rioting, there may be more rioting in protest of the findings.
Is it probable that there are unbalanced, bigoted people in police forces across our country? No. It is not probable. It is certain and those officers should be ashamed, prosecuted and punished. I know these officers are there because of the powerful force of Satan and the way he historically has placed evil people in all professions.There are lawyers who embarrass their legal associations. There are teachers who commit sexual immorality with students. Our former Alabama governor just resigned in the midst of scandal, embarrassing our state. There are definitely policemen who have committed brutal acts against men and women of color. Christians should do all within their power though their voices, votes and all legal avenues to bring policemen who have violated ethical and legal standards to justice.
Yet, in reference to law enforcement and the keeping of the peace in our nation, what should be the Christian’s attitude? Remember, adherence to the Word is far-and-away more important to children of God than is any compliance to popular culture. The Word says this:
“Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God. Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves” (Romans 13:1,2).
It’s sobering, in view of the civil unrest in America today, even sometimes among people who claim Christianity—yes, even sometimes in the “name” of God—that these instructions of the Holy Spirit were given to people who were oppressed and even persecuted by their cruel Roman government. The command of the Holy Spirit is so very clear. They were never to resist this governmental authority, which had been providentially empowered for their day. The Romans were not accidentally in power at the time of the founding of the church. The prophecies of this power were made centuries before the early church (Daniel 2). God was/is sovereign. He knew about the brutality and, yet, he commanded submission to governmental authority.
We can be no less submissive as Christians in 2017. Putting ethnicity a distant second to Christianity, we must command respect for civil authorities in our homes and in our congregations.