We must not insult our leaders in our speech nor fight with them. We must forbear them under their heavy responsibilities and with their human weaknesses. We must be gentle and kind. While respectfully contending out of our convictions, we must yield to their leadership whenever we can do so without sin. As with everyone, we must demonstrate every humble consideration to our leaders.
Civil discourse has degenerated to the point where opponents shout at each other with megaphones and even march to lay siege to families in their homes. There is no calm conversation but only provocative volume, vocabulary, slogans and images. We are too quick to speak and too slow to listen. Conversation, cooperation and conciliation are anathema to all sides. The party spirit that our founders dreaded has come to ugly flower and bitter fruit. Civil war fought in the streets of our cities seems near at hand with many foretastes.
What are our obligations as Christian citizens in the midst of all this? First, we must remember that the powers that be are ordained by God. We must therefore obey our governments out of this conviction. To rebel against them is to rebel against God. The only time we are free from this obligation is when those in power require us to sin. If they merely require us to support foolishness, we may seek to persuade them of a better course, but we may not disobey. We must be prepared to do all the good we can for our governments, not just fulfilling our duties but also going the extra mile beyond what they require of us. We must ask what we can do for our governments rather than what they can do for us. We must focus on our duties and opportunities rather than on our rights and desires.