The Lack Of Respect For Authority In Society And In The Church (I)

W. Terry Varner
July 9, 2017

Man constantly challenges authority in society and in the church. In doing so, he has created great confusion. Civil law is threatened as never before in our lifetime. Good teachers are leaving poor educational system because their hands are strapped in dealing with students who show no respect for authority regardless the gender of the teacher. Society has seen marriage crumble by it being redefined by our Supreme Court rather than upholding God’s definition of marriage—a man and a woman. Consider the following essays.

Respect For Authority is Fundamental in Society and in the Church. Whether we understand it or not, the Bible—66 canonical books—is the foundation of authority in both society and in the church. God’s word always has been.

Consider the importance of the authority as foundational to society. Romans 13:1-7 shows the importance of God s word governing society. Civil authorities obtain their authority from God (Rom. 13:1). Civil authorities are obligated as a “terror ... to the evil” works (Rom. 13:3) and to serve as “the minister of God to us for good” (Rom. 13:4). Christians, as well as all men, are to “be subject” to civil law (Rom. 13:5), unless civil law contradicts God’s law (Acts 5:29). Jesus taught this very principle when He said, “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s” (Mark 12:17).

Consider the importance of authority as foundational to spiritual matters. If we are to know what God wants us to know, to live as God wants us to live, and to have hope “as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast” (Heb. 6:19), we must respect God’s authority expressed in His word. For the Christian, the Bible teaches us How all things are “from Him, and through Him, and to Him” (Rom. 11:36). We must listen to God. God is unchanging. “For I am the LORD, I change not” (Mal. 3:6). His word is the “words of eternal life” (John 6:68) and “is forever settled in heaven” (Ps. 119:89).

So many listen to the wrong people about life and their soul. They neglect what God teaches in the Bible. They fail to heed the words of Jesus: “Take heed HOW you hear” (Luke 8:18, emp. added) and “take heed WHAT you hear” (Mark 4:24, emp. added). Jesus taught man is to “Render . . . to God the things that are God’s” (Marie 12:17); i.e. obey Him!

WHY does the Loss of Respect for Authority in Society and in the Church Exist? All mankind lives in what we term society or the world. The church exists in the world or society. The church is composed of individuals who are commanded to be “the salt of the earth” (Matt. 5:13) and “the light of the world” (Matt. 5:14). However, often Christians instead of influencing the world for Christ have been unduly influenced to the detriment of Christ by the world, society, or wayward philosophical thinking.

Over the last 75 plus years, society has been infected with what is called Modernism. Defined simply, Modernism is a philosophical system that manifests the idea that God does not exist or if He exists He is of no importance to man; therefore, His word is not important. In 1997, controversy raged in Pittsburgh over placing building a new football stadium on the ballot. A caller quoted the Pennsylvania law. The announcer (obviously opposed to the stadium) replied: “Don’t quote the law [PA law] to me, that is like quoting the Bible.” The Pennsylvania law meant nothing to the announcer, but more importantly and by the implication, his words “that is like quoting the Bible” shows the Bible meant nothing to him. The Bible meant nothing even though God gave the state of Pennsylvania the authority to write laws and govern her citizens, law (Acts 5:29). Ridiculous reasoning.