Anarchy is what happens in the absence of governance. It’s when no one calls the shots, no one leads, no one rules; or maybe someone tries to but governs too weakly to influence those they lead, are too weak to restrain the violent or the opportunists in their midst.
Yesterday I began preaching a series of sermons on submission called “Can we learn to love the grace of authority?” “Grace” because I think authority is such a good thing that it can fit into the category of “undeserved blessing.” Yet I don’t think people in general like it–not even Christians.
When some Christian parents won’t correct their children in love and strength, I wonder if with some it’s because they themselves have a bad taste in their mouths about authority. Which leaves them few choices except pleading, yelling, pouting, bribing, or effectively turning their God-given authority over to their hapless child. What a tragic and lifelong price children may have to pay for mom and dad’s misunderstanding.
And then there are the husbands who won’t lead their wives. Good riddance to the men who have mistreated, bullied, or led their wives harshly. But as the pendulum arcs back the other direction, can’t we jump off in the middle and be strong men who are willing to assume our calling to lead our wives like tender shepherds instead of the stereotypical tyrants detractors take us for?
What about the government? Many of us evangelicals are politically conservative. Accordingly, we fume and rant over a government we think is too intrusive, too liberal, too quick to spend money. Some justify cheating it because its laws are ridiculous–or just because it’s too confiscatory and they feel entitled to keep what they can get away with. Those of us who wouldn’t go that far pay taxes and vote, but do we realize the institution is God’s? Pray for it and rejoice in it, accordingly?