The Great Clarification Needed Behind The Pulpit Regarding “Authority Figures” Part 1

You may heard a reference during the extended prayer section of a service about praying for those in authority. Who are those praying referring to? Is it fallacy to even word it this way? In my first personally written post, I’d like to clarify the issue from a sound perspective; concluding with a word of caution to Christendom.

When most anyone hears this phrase it conjures up either a bristle or notion of support, depending on what party or ideals a worshipper supports. Each election makes such an expression easier or harder to accept depending upon a person’s politics. The truth is we should always pray for our leaders either elected or appointed. Just as we should pray for every soul in every walk of life made in His image. During the National Day of Prayer in June, I was encouraged to see nearly all of Alabama’s federal representatives had gotten together to pray for the state’s constituency. It is our priority as Christians to hold them accountable when needed and to be humbly supportive throughout their terms.

When patriots set out for the new world to cast aside a repressive tax structure and restrictive dynamics on personal, social growth; they were navigating uncharted territory. They sought a government where there was no ultimate authority save for Christ alone. They desired a society for the people by the people. By God’s sovereignty and their amazing intellect; our founders produced an historical watermark of checks and balances. Producing the most promising society in human history.

In ancient times, particularly Israel BC, rulers were appointed. Even if it was ultimately by God’s doing. In post Christ Rome, Paul mentions authorities, slaves and so forth. He insinuates positions like tax collectors, magistrates, soldiers and kings. You’d get cussed out in modern times if you referred to collections staff as having authority, whilst standing in a slow moving line waiting to pay the state again to renew something. As a modern day ‘tax collector’ would get mocked if they tried to assert any power over a tax payer. A first example of why we need to take scripture into context. During the Apostle Paul’s ministry he needed to point new converts to a spirit of cooperation by modeling humility. He also wanted to illustrate the point, that no matter how unjust certain aspects of life were, there was an ultimate authority over anything on earth. That authority was just and not cruel. That the saints practice of submission to human examples was practice in submitting to Christ as head of the church. There were no elected officials ‘hired’ by the people in those cultures, who were accountable to each citizen who had a vote. So, they were true ‘authority’ figures. For this reason in modern America, there is no clear answer over whom holds ‘authority’ over any given citizen, every second of that citizen’s life. In Article 2 we dive deeper!

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