Authority, Kingdom Authority and Civil Authority

In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, Amen!

 Kingdom authority!  We belong to God’s Kingdom and we are to be citizens of heaven, but what about this world?  Authority is important here also.  We must follow the laws of God and of the civil authority.

 Today we look at the authority that healed lepers must submit to before returning to the fold.  This is religious, civil, in house, no outside authority.  The healed man is sent first to the priests, who can call him clean.  The religious thanksgiving must be made to God for the healing.  Then there is restoration to family, friends, community, worship and life.

We also look at authority from the perspective of a Roman centurion.  He makes an order and it is obeyed.  He knows Christ has authority over all, including his servant who is ill.  Just say the word and that is enough.  If Christ says the servant is healed, it is so.  The centurion needs nothing more.  Authority is beyond place.  It can be exerted from a distance.  God’s authority is supreme power.  His love is what heals, His nature is such that we should have such trust and knowledge.  The centurion is praised of Christ.  He is made an example for us of how to petition God for healing.

Paul in the Epistle is talking to the Romans.  He tells them to be good citizens, submitting to authority of the civil government as to God, because all authority comes from God.  Christ said as much in the examination before Pilate.  You would have no authority unless it is given of the (Father) God.  We are talking about Rome in the early time of the Emperor Nero.  Rome had been protecting the early Christians from the attacks by the unbelieving Jews.  Civil authority is to be for the good of the people, establishing peace, tranquility, order and civility.  This is also true today!

 What about corrupt power and authority?  What would happen to the Christians when Nero needed to blame someone or thing for the fire?  Christians were persecuted by the very government under God, by an evil man.  Do we worry about our own government? Should we? 

 What does it mean to be a Christian, Good Citizen of the United States?

 This follows from last week’s readings.  We must release our desire to revenge, attack our leaders for their folly.  God WILL deal with them as He sees fit!  We are to be respectful.  We may disagree, but when our disagreement goes viral, we step over the line.  Name calling and subversive acts are not right and in accord with God’s desire.

 Example:  Walk for Life last weekend in SF.  Thousands walked peacefully, singing, carrying signs, praying and demonstrating that a moral government would not act the way they do with respect to life, babies, mothers and families.  No one took to arms to over throw the government.  Anarchy is not a Godly answer.  Prayer before the throne of God, appealing to the higher authority, is right.  Telling others about the wrongness of disrespecting life is important.  There can be a positive effect.  Leaders can be called back to proper respect and laws can be changed by the process granted in the establishment of the country.

Though this is true, we live in a Republic and we have certain rights and responsibilities.  We certainly can and should point out to others that candidate A has beliefs in opposition to what is right and moral.  We should be informed and also vote.  We can support activities and causes that we believe to be Godly.

What is your attitude toward God’s authority?  How about civil authority?  Do you snipe at leaders, name call, rant and rave?  Or are you civil?  Let us examine our attitudes this morning.  Where we have fallen, let us ask God’s forgiveness.  When we are challenged in the future, let us call to mind that God has granted authority to the leaders.  He will deal with them and we are not to.  By giving our past to Christ in the Mass, we can be free to follow the commandments of God to love one another and God and ourselves more fully.  Let us again take the time as we are becoming accustomed to here at St Mark’s before the General Confession to consider this and only pray after some time of letting go of the stuff that keeps us away.

In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, Amen!

This entry was posted in Encourage Spiritual Growth and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Authority, Kingdom Authority and Civil Authority

  1. Susan says:

    I like this!
    It is right to set a limit about personal attacks and name-calling – even unspoken. Beyond that, it becomes more difficult to see the line between right thought and action, and wrong. In a republic such as ours, we are not good citizens if we just “submit.” We have a duty to inform ourselves, and to assert our beliefs about the best direction for the country. This requires both courage and humility – a tough combination to achieve!

Comments are closed.